Pakistan's Salman Butt released from prison after 7 months
Fri, 22 Jun 2012 9:56a.m.
By Steve Douglas
Just seven months into a 2½-year sentence, Salman Butt became the last of the three Pakistan players to be released from prison for their roles in a match-fixing scandal that rocked the world of cricket.
Butt's lawyers said Thursday the former Pakistan captain will return immediately to Pakistan "to start to rebuild his reputation" after leaving Canterbury Prison in southeast England.
He was found guilty last November of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments by ensuring no-balls were bowled at predetermined times in a test against England at Lord's in August 2010.
Two other Pakistan players, bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, were also part of the plot and were given shorter jail sentences.
"Salman Butt has had to endure a great deal of suffering, strain, pressure and humiliation over many months, both personally and on behalf of his family," Butt's barrister, Yasin Patel, said in a statement released to
The Associated Press. "His return back home will allow Salman to spend time with his family and relatives. He will get to see and hold his son, whom he has not seen since his birth in November last year.
"He can now return to his beloved homeland, start to rebuild his reputation and begin the long process in his efforts to return back to top-level cricket."
When asked by The AP, London-based law firm 25 Bedford Row was unable to confirm British media reports that Butt has been freed under the government's early-prisoner release scheme, which for foreign nationals usually involves them agreeing to be formally deported.
If that is the case, Butt will not be able to return to England for 10 years.
The 29-year-old Asif was freed from Canterbury Prison last month after serving half of his one-year sentence. Amir, 19, was released after three months of a six-month sentence.
All three players are in the process of serving five-year bans from cricket that were imposed by the International Cricket Council
"Butt's early release has been obtained by the efforts of his legal team and in particular, Yasin Patel," the statement read.
"It is expected that on his return he will work with his barrister in relation to the next step in his endeavours to return to the cricketing world."
Patel said Butt, who was the orchestrator of the betting scam in the infamous fourth test, was "tired and jaded."
"Once he has had a little rest, you can rest assured that Salman Butt will talk to the media when the time is right," Patel said.
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