Think before you hang Aamer.
Two views are extremely important for Pakistan's cricket future. The one more restrained and level-headed analysis is that of International Cricket Council President Sharad Pawar was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying that they will not act until they receive reports from the police.
"After that we have to take a viewpoint of the two boards, in this case the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
"If anything is established, it will be viewed very seriously by the two boards and the ICC.
"I am absolutely confident that both boards will never encourage protecting anybody who has done a wrong thing," he said, calling the allegations themselves "quite serious".
The other by Malcolm Speed - a former chief executive of the ICC - thinks there is already a serious case for Pakistan to be banned from world cricket after further fixing allegations were levelled at several members of the team. He said there was provision in the ICC's anti-corruption code to suspend a whole nation, and that if these latest allegations were proven and corruption found to be endemic, then the ICC would have little choice. "I think that's (suspension) an option. It's serious," Speed told Australian radio station, ABC.
"It looks as though it is endemic that several of the team members are involved and have been for some time. So perhaps they need a rest. It looks a fairly compelling case."
If the cash stashed in players room are same marked notes as delivered to Mr. Azhar by news of the World, the players are nailed and Malcolm Speed point of view will gain currency to suspend Pakistan. It will turn into a legal defence, no one is guilty unless court decides the matter, the sentencing for this crime are heavy under law of the land, some of the players can be arrested and if the crime is proven can be jailed for as long as 10 years.
If the recovered stash of cash and their mobile phone record coroborates and the cash recovered is tainted; I tend to think that mobile telephone record of calls and cash will add up; the grounds of legal defence is important for the future of these players.
Will these allegations withstand the test of 'beyond a reasonable doubt' this is the standard of proof required in most criminal cases within an adversarial system. Generally the prosecution bears the burden of proof and is required to prove their version of events to this standard. This means that the proposition being presented by the prosecution must be proven to the extent that there is no "reasonable doubt" in the mind of a reasonable person that the defendant is guilty:
The cold-hearted set-up through a 'lopsided inducement' tantamounts to murder of a young 18-year old talent by News of the World. In my opinion this dazzling lure was nothing but a treacherous monstrous sting of humongous nature that could dislodge even the most honourable.
It appears that the collective culpability of Pakistani team players is beyond any justification and they have no plausible defence; but the forces of glittering wickedness arrayed against them were far beyond their banal level of comprehension or understanding. Busy not thyself with this world, for with fire We test the gold, and with gold We test Our servants. Yet I would say "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."*
There is a 'price for every man,' so far for 'three no balls' the value of 150 k £ was an enormous ensnare. It was the lopsided vice that was after them to help cross the line of vulnerability, they did it indisputably but as a legal argument they were at the core of heartless entrapment.
Absolutely Mazhar Mehmood being a Pakistani did most likely play a major role in entrapping the catch; look at his all-embracing use of 'Inshallah' in the audio tape i.e. 'God-willing' for expecting the third ball of the third over, exactly on his pattern of extracting from Galloway denial of holocaust in another abortive episode where his cover was blown by a sly fox-like George Galloway. Aamer was no George Galloway neither is he Fergie who can say sorry and get on with immediate new assignments with 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.' Those who call these bunch of young rookies cheats should think twice and look around their own environ; a lot of bigger Oxbridge-educated cheats are far better contenders for this title. Money corrupts absolutely and comprehensively across the board.
From duckhouses to security patrols, are the highlights of those named and shamed in the audit.** Money can blind a lot of larger people, John Gummer was no less a person but was involved in petty money transactions; Mr. Gummer was paid £612.81 for repair and maintenance of a lawnmower.Over four years he also paid cleaning costs of £19,693.67 which well exceeded the maximum allowance of £2,000 a year. Gardening costs over the same period were over the allowance by £17,091.98. In total he has paid back £29,398.46
Here Aamer and Co were induced with 5 times that amount.
Amir Rashid wrote a positive profile of Aamer for The Independent, which also ran yesterday presumably based on research conducted before the scandal emerged. “Nobody has illuminated the cricketing summer more,” he wrote.
It is utterly an immense fault of PCB management, their inability to comprehend the modern demands of cricket and inability to incubate raw talent into a formidable force has led this disaster of youngsters. Making of a great crickets also requires making of a great stable mind. In that they have failed wretchedly, they have discredited themselves and the hopes of the nation. A villager from a poverty incapacitated backdrop needs education plus mannerism and gestures to perform at Lord's, in Lord's even grander personalities are over awed with the spectacle ,what about minnows who have just appeared on the scene, they need a massive training course whereby they act reliably and maturely. It is their superiors who should also be charged for the disgrace and descent of Pakistani cricket into complete mayhem.
On the other hand, ''Law enforcement officers must be aware of their limitations during a sting operation to avoid later accusations of entrapment. An undercover officer working as a prostitute, for example, cannot initiate a conversation leading to the customer's solicitation offer. A defendant arrested for solicitation of a prostitute could claim that the undercover officer was flirtatious or made physical contact before identifying herself as a prostitute. An argument could be made that the solicitation was based on the officer's behavior, not on the defendant's intention to commit a crime.''
Is it a legal case of entrapment of a young 18 year’s old coming from a very poor background? Chequebook journalism will be in the dock soon. News of the World routinely attacked for using entrapment to nail their victims. Most famously, in 2003 News of the World was criticized for their part in exposing an alleged plot to kidnap Victoria Beckham after a court case against the plotters collapsed amid claims that the key informant — the core of Mahmood's reporting — had received £10,000 (more than $14,000) from the News of the World for the story. (Chief investigator) Mahmood and the paper were accused of showing complete contempt for the administration of justice and of masquerading as moral crusaders.
Before calling Aamer a cheat, think hard. The following is a video tape of the background from where M. Aamer originates; these were the conditions just 24-48 months back for him. From 'here' to transform into refined manners of Sir Donald Bradman is a lot to ask, it does need a lot of training and education:
Sitting in Lord's while sipping champagne it is easy to expect sophistication, class and gloss from all these players, but we should not forget that these players in raw form are similar to the 'gladiators'**** in the Roman amphitheaters. Most of these players, like 'Roman gladiators,' are schooled under harsh conditions, socially marginalized. Yes, we have moved on from those days of barbarism, but conditions from where some of this raw talent appears are still barbaric; they offer us admiration and popular acclaim but we cannot test them with the lure that impacts even the most honorable amongst us. Lust, gold and sex fails every fabric of society historically, calling them cheats is collective self reflection of our own evils.
The Independent writes about Aamer: ''His story was something of a fairy tale. He was born in a rural village in the Punjab, grew up in poverty and practised cricket so much and so hard he used to injure himself. Cricket, he said, had been part of his life for as long he could remember. It was his way to give his family a new life. In a short time, since gaining fame for his cricketing skills, he had outgrown his teenage demeanour. Earlier this year, he told The New York Times that he was planning to study accounting because sport is not a lifetime career.''
Lord's is modern day amphitheatre, these young kinds form villages are our new gladiators; the modern social contract demands that those who provide us with pleasures of top gamesmanship should also be trained in higher faculties of man. Let's not act like Commodus, let's have magnanimity and kindness for these great performers, they have acted wrongly and need our support.
From Aamer to be trapped by the same person who trapped the likes of Fergie, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Snooker Champion John Higgins Sophie, Countess of Wessex is rather a lot of enticement; his journey to the ''hell hole of cheating'' was expedited by 'loads of unfair enticements' disproportionate to his social class and status; it is said 'Everything Has A Price.' Other high-profile exposés have trapped criminals and caused embarrassment to the aristocracy and the royal family. In another recent story, Mahmood exposed an alleged plot to buy radioactive material to make a "dirty bomb". He offered to sell the men a kilo of "red mercury" before bringing in anti-terrorist police to arrest them.The paper claims he has brought more than 100 criminals to justice.
150,000 £'s in cash is the kind of money that totally uprooted Fergie's defenses of morality; on that count Aamer was entrapped with a super bait meant for only the most toughened of riches.
If Fergie, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Snooker Champion John Higgins Sophie, Countess of Wessex can be trapped by hundreds of thousands, will a poor young 18-year old from a village in Pakistan not fall for prolific sums? Many of his stings involve posing as an Arab sheikh, earning him the sobriquet "the fake Sheikh". It was a guise he used to great effect when he engineered a meeting with Sophie, Countess of Wessex. The result was hugely embarrassing for the royal family when it was suggested Sophie was abusing her royal connections as head of her PR firm R-JH - from which she later resigned as chairman.
Let’s not compare WG Grace, Wally Hammond or Sir Bradman with Aamer and the likes of Butt or Akmal, the latter are contaminated with evils of bribe; they come from a different class of boys who have not been exposed to money or fame. They are a victims of colossal enticement and baits that even most 'moral' of MP’s find hard to ignore. If Bengal and Mysore could have been won by moral debauchery of Mir’s*** enticed by Robert Clive, why can't these very wanton souls plunge by the tempting baits of News of the World?
News of the World investigations editor Mazher Mahmood has claimed possibly his biggest scalp to date after filming the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson apparently selling access to Prince Andrew for cash i.e. to rock the house of corruption that is probably institutionalized in form of Pakistani cricket structure, but on his way he has helped demolish a lot of talent and support bribery through bait and prejudiced temptation. It is easy to destroy the balance of a young 18 year old, but should we overreact? Don’t destroy and make judgments until ‘entrapment’ is discussed as an issue and cleared. Aamer, Asif and Butt deserve the same soft-handed treatment as the 150 MPs. Money corrupts absolutely. In this case hundreds of thousands corrupted the trio or foursome or the whole team, but let’s sit back and see The Telegraph war on MP's corruption which has so far resulted in no conviction. We all have the tendency to slip, so let’s be careful before we pass large moral judgments here.
Can’t we be satisfied with Ferguson like statement who said: “I very deeply regret the situation and the embarrassment caused. It is true that my financial situation is under stress. However, that is no excuse for a serious lapse in judgment and I am very sorry that this has happened."
Is it not entrapment to criminalize youngsters who were penniless? To destroy a youth full of talent is nothing but unfair playing field; the Newspaper created an unfair playing field and trapped him. The News of the Screws entrapment attempt on Galloway is remarkably similar to its story a couple of years ago about a plan to kidnap Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, and demand a ransom from her husband, the footballer David. The men in that case were entrapped by Florim Gashi, who was the one who kept bringing up Victoria. The trial of the men collapsed once it became clear the Gashi was a convicted criminal, who had been paid £10,000 by the News of the Screws. Whether the plot was Gashi's idea, or indeed the fake sheikh's, is unknown. Roy Greenslade called then for an investigation in the "investigator". That now seems even more urgent. He goes to all extent to pull every string to get incriminating statements, George Galloway busted him but look at the following link and appreciate the extent of the entrapment he tried to set up Galloway with. Now Galloway was a smart man, but anyone could be trapped. Aamer and others are young boys; let’s not destroy young talents, let's educate them, let's discipline them.
Entrapment' (1) is already under fire
The self-styled scourge of the criminal world works secretively, rarely going into the office at News International in Wapping. Written into Mr Mahmood's contract is a clause stating that his photograph will never be published in the newspaper. If he features in photos that accompany his stories, his face is always concealed and a silhouette is used next to his byline.
When Mr Mahmood won the Reporter of the Year award, a figure attired in full sheikh's outfit, with the face covered, went up to collect the award - only for the robes to be thrown off to reveal Kelvin Mackenzie, former editor of The Sun. Although Mr Mahmood has helped to expose crime, many find the way he does it both morally and ethically distasteful. Lawyers have argued that Mr Mahmood's conduct, backed by the editorial policy of the News of the World, deliberately involves serious breaches of the law. However, his work continues unabated and he often works closely with officers and says he co-operates with police at all times.
He is often held up as an example of the worst of British journalism, which critics claim will resort to any tactic, no matter how legally or ethically dubious, to net exclusive stories in what remains a fiercely competitive industry. However, others claim he carries out a highly legitimate role in exposing the rich and powerful when they deserve it and bringing villains, including drug dealers, pedophiles, arms dealers and corrupt officials, to justice.
Mahmood keeps his identity as mysterious as possible. No one is entirely sure of his background, or if Mazher Mahmood is even his real name. He says he comes from the Midlands, where his Pakistani parents settled in 1960. As well as the Arab robes he deploys in the Fake Sheik stings, he uses other disguises and regularly works with bodyguards — he says he has received several death threats. He claims credit for 232 successful prosecutions
Mahmood has earned the reputation as Britain's most feared and/or respected investigative reporter — depending on whom you ask. Only three weeks before Fergiegate, he exposed World Snooker Champion John Higgins and his agent, Pat Mooney, for apparently agreeing to fix games. This was a big deal in the U.K., where snooker is a hugely popular game watched by millions on TV. And Mahmood has scores of similar exclusives under his belt involving politicians, celebrities, criminals and film, TV and sports stars. No one, it appears, is safe from the "Fake Sheik," the nickname he earned for his habit of disguising himself as a wealthy Arab when engaged in one of his elaborate investigations.
Claims of entrapment can be notoriously difficult to prove. Some successful claims against law enforcement agencies have centered around the idea of a 'virtue test'. In this case I see a possibility of a virtue test on which News of the World may fail. On the selection of random players to participate in organized sting operations in the hopes of generating a casualty, using 'virtue test' as a case law, there must be some compelling evidence that a specific individual like Aamer had a propensity for committing such a crime. Akmal is more likely a candidate of calamity, not Aamer, he had this propensity and background of dropped catches in Sydney. Of course, all bets are off if we find that the whole team had thrown wickets away in Sydney. If I was PCB, inefficient and foolish as an institution that they are, but I would fight this case in the court of law as entrapment and argue that "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." Will these allegations withstand the test of 'beyond a reasonable doubt' this is the standard of proof required in most criminal cases within an adversarial system, I doubt it.
For footnotes * ** *** **** please see the comments