The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Yes, it did. I'm puzzled by that. I took the view almost the minute I saw that video on their website that there was something odd about it, because I knew that the John Higgins story, the story of the snooker player apparently taking a bribe, had fallen down because the video evidence had been changed by Mazher Mahmood and his operatives, and that was acknowledged.

What was odd about the video that was put up on the News of the World website was there were instances where you simply couldn't see the mouth of the man who was supposed to be doing the speaking. It was a fellow called Mazher Majeed, who was the agent between Mazher Mahmood and the cricketers, allegedly, and I opined that this video could easily have been made retroactively, and that's what it seemed to me.

Having said that, Mohammad Amir, the youngest of the bowlers, has -- did plead guilty and I find that puzzling, but I dare say there's reasons for that. Nevertheless, the point is there was no actual crime there. There was nobody going to go and have a bet on those no-balls. There was nobody going to benefit from it. It was simply Mazher Mahmood setting these people up, putting pressure on them, through Mazher Majeed, to do these no-balls, if they did indeed do them -- I suppose I must accept that they've been found guilty and perhaps they did, but there was nevertheless no clear evidence that anybody was going to benefit from that particular activity, from that particular crime, so it was, in a sense, a non-crime. It was a non-story. The whole event was set up by Mazher Mahmood to get these people, or to show that these people were prepared to bowl a no ball when asked and they seem to have satisfied the jury that that was the case. I have to say that that didn't satisfy me.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech