‘This is character assassination’ – Rauf

(Cricinfo) Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf has, through his lawyer, denied the allegations made against him by Mumbai Police in its chargesheet on the IPL betting scandal. Rauf’s counsel said though his client respected the Indian judicial system, he didn’t trust the Mumbai Police and would not travel to India to contest any trial.

“All the allegations reported in media are baseless,” Rauf’s lawyer, Syed Ali Zafar, said in Lahore. “We don’t have any chargesheet and only have the press reports that have no legal value or importance at the moment.

“So we think it is just a conspiracy by Mumbai Police to defame his [Rauf] and the country’s name. We think Mumbai Police is indulging in character assassination. He is a well-known, professional, competent Pakistani umpire. Whatever is being reported in press is all false and I strongly deny it on behalf of Asad Rauf.”

Zafar said Rauf’s camp would respond to the allegations only if approached by the ICC or Pakistani authorities about the same. “Asad Rauf has full confidence in Indian courts but he has no faith in Mumbai Police and at the moment we are not confident going to India. For Asad Rauf the situation is not right in India – they could detain him, they can frame other charges. But if Mumbai Police goes to the ICC’s anti-corruption unit or approaches [the concerned] authorities in Pakistan, we will then provide witnesses and give our point of view.”

Rauf, who was listed as a “wanted accused” in the chargesheet, was allegedly given gifts by bookies, passed on match-related information to them, and placed bets on matches himself while officiating in the tournament. The police made their case on the evidence of transcripts of recorded phone conversations that Rauf allegedly had with other people accused in the chargesheet, and a large portion of it concerns the period before and after Delhi Police arrested three Rajasthan Royals players following their match against Mumbai Indians on May 15, which Rauf umpired.

“Mumbai police has given general statement that Asad Rauf has done betting in collaboration with bookies,” Zafar, who was seated beside Rauf said. “First of all, Asad Rauf has not done any gambling in any sport ever. Mumbai police has not provided any specific incident in its chargesheet.

There’s some conversation of Asad Rauf and there was some doubt. We don’t have tapes and we don’t know in which context the conversation was held, so I can’t comment on it.


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