Mohammad Asif’s case referred to Dubai attorney general (Lead)

June 8th, 2008 - 8:29 pm ICT by IANS  

By Aroonim Bhuyan
Dubai, June 8 (IANS) The fate of Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Asif, being held here allegedly for possessing drugs, continues to hang in a balance as the chief prosecutor has refererd his case to the Dubai attorney general Sunday. “The chief prosecutor completed hearing the case of Mohammad Asif today (Sunday) afternoon and he has now referred the case to the attorney general (of Dubai),” Nadeem Akram, director of human resources and administration at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), told IANS here.

“We expect the attorney general to take a decision by tomorrow,” added Akram, who was deputed by the PCB to help secure the release of the cricketer.

On the chances of the fast bowler getting a reprieve in a country which practices strict zero-tolerance policy for drug-related offences, Akram said: “We remain hopeful.”

Asked whether any charge has been levelled against Asif as yet, he said, “Not that I know of.”

The 25-year-old cricketer was detained by customs authorities at the Dubai International Airport last Sunday for allegedly possessing drugs.

He was on his way back to Lahore via Dubai from Mumbai where he had played the Indian Premier League (IPL) semi-final for Delhi Daredevils against Rajasthan Royals May 30.

Dubai airport customs authorities handed him over to the drugs unit of Dubai Police Tuesday.

His blood and urine samples as well as the drugs found on him were sent for laboratory tests Tuesday.

The results of the tests were received Thursday but have not been made public as yet.

Asif recorded his statement at the office of the chief prosecutor Thursday.

He is held at the Dubai International Airport detention centre.

The PCB has backed the player, saying he was innocent till formally charged by UAE authorities.

Chief prosecutor Mohammad Rustom was earlier quoted as saying that his office would go according to the test results.

“We will proceed according to reports of the tests from the Dubai General Department of Forensic Science,” he had told the Khaleej Times.

The PCB has hired the services of a local legal firm, Angel & Afridi, to help the cricketer.

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