Lahore - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Friday handed over supporting evidence against batsmen Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif to the three-member Anti-Corruption Tribunal.

The PCB-formed Anti-Corruption Tribunal, which is probing into spot fixing scandal of Pakistan Super League (PSL), held its hearing here at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).

After the hearing, the PCB spokesman said: “The cricket board submitted its opening brief to the Anti-Corruption Tribunal, which details its claims along with all the supporting evidence. This includes, amongst other material, witness statements, recorded interviews, match footage, and copies of certain WhatsApp voice messages.”

The hearing was attended by Justice (R) Asghar Haider (chairman), Lt Gen (R) Tauqir Zia and Wasim Bari (members), Sharjeel Khan, along with Advocate Shaigan Ijaz, PCB Advocates Taffazul Rizvi and Haider Ali Khan, PCB Legal Affairs GM Salman Naseer, PCB’s Vigilance and Security Department head Col (R) M Azam Khan.

The Anti-Corruption Tribunal directed that the parties would not make any comments regarding the proceedings of this tribunal, the contents of the evidence presented to this tribunal, or on the merits of the present proceedings. A copy of the opening brief along with all the material was also provided to Sharjeel Khan and his counsel who will respond by filing an answering brief before the tribunal on May 5, 2017.

After a delay of an hour due to the fact that Khalid Latif was awaiting the decision of the Honourable High Court, proceedings of the Anti-Corruption Tribunal commenced. Latif, through his counsel, filed a miscellaneous application. However, the said application was dismissed by the Anti-Corruption Tribunal. The tribunal also noted the reservation of the counsel of Latif to challenge the order of the Learned Single Bench before relevant legal forum.

The PCB’s counsel submitted its opening brief to the tribunal which details its claims along with all the supporting evidence. This includes, amongst other material, witness statements, recorded interviews, recovered material, match footage, and copies of certain WhatsApp voice messages.

The tribunal directed that the parties would not make any comments regarding the contents of the evidence presented to this tribunal, or on the merits of the present proceedings. A copy of the opening brief along with all the material was also provided to Latif and his counsel, who as per Anti-Corruption Code shall respond by filing an answering brief before the tribunal on May 5, 2017.

In reply to tweets by sports journalists, the PCB said that they had strong evidence against the players, who were charged and wanted to follow due rules and procedures before convicting anyone. “We have the evidence to convict them as charged. Withhold your judgment until conclusion of the cases,” one of the PCB’s replies read.  The other tweet said: “The PCB will not compromise on rules and procedures for due process of accountability and justice simply to appease media appetite for controversy.”

Meanwhile, Khalid Latif’s request to the Lahore High Court (LHC), where he challenged the formation of the Anti-Corruption Tribunal (ACT), was rejected on Friday.

The 31-year-old is undergoing an investigation by the PCB in regards to the PSL spot-fixing scandal. Latif’s lawyers pleaded the case to Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza that the PCB had no authority to form a tribunal neither any Anti-Corruption Unit or the tribunal had any legal mandate to take action against him.

Furthermore, all members in the past have been associated with the PCB and hence not independent. PCB’s lawyer Taffazul Rizvi maintained that the board’s governing body gave approval to setup Anti-Corruption Unit on November 17, 2015, further adding that the PCB chairman under Sports and Development Ordinance (1962) have the mandate to authorise a tribunal.

After hearing the case from both sides, Justice Mirza rejected Latif’s petition for further proceedings. Latif has been charged for breaching Articles 2.1.1; 2.1.2; 2.1.3, 2.1.4; 2.4.4; and 2.4.5 of the PCB's anti-corruption code. He faces five charges on counts relating to fixing and failure to report it, and another charge of attempting to lure other players to fixing.

Latif’s lawyer had informed during a hearing before the tribunal last month that his client had rejected all the allegations and would take the case to trial.