LAHORE - Former Pakistan team captain Salman Butt has called for an open trial against him in Pakistan saying he didn't get justice in a cricket corruption case which led to a lengthy ban and jail time.
"If you look at the evidence you can judge that I didn't get justice. I had to make a sacrifice because I didn't take anyone's name, it didn't suit me. It's not about me or anyone else, it's about Pakistan. I would like Pakistani courts, the Supreme Court, to hold an open trial and I am sure they will clear me,” he said and added: "I don't accept anything against me. If you look at the evidence against me, I had no links to spot-fixing. Who did and who planned it (I don't know), but certainly I didn't do that. I played for my country and respected that (honour)."
When asked about the discovery in his hotel room of notes marked by the News of the World, Butt replied: "Yes there were 4,500 pounds and that was my money. I had to inaugurate an ice cream parlour and got 2,500 pounds (from Majeed) in advance. I didn't know that he had paid me notes which were marked. That was my money and that's why I got them back (when I was released) and I have receipt of all that."
Butt said the welcome he received here in the city suggested people still loved him. "It was an unexpected welcome. People showed they still love me. I wasn't expecting it because I was coming from such a place," said Butt of the welcome in Lahore last week.”
He also vowed to represent Pakistan again. "I will do my best to become a good human being and represent Pakistan again. It seems a long shot but I will do my best," said Butt, who apologised for his actions on arrival last week.
"The people in Pakistan are very good, and the way they welcomed me, I am sure they will forgive me," he added. Butt said he would challenge the ICC ban, 10 years in all with five suspended years, in the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) based in Switzerland.
"I have written to the CAS to take up my appeal but the cost of this whole process is very expensive and I cannot afford that and need support. The ICC banned me before the forensic evidence came," he said. During the press conference, Butt showed the mobile phone data of his conversation and SMS with Majeed to strike the deal. "The evidence came after 10 months but the ICC banned me before that."
"I am holding this press conference to prove my innocence and I gave my viewpoint before and I am before the media once again. I want to prove that I have no links with the spot-fixing case."