Monday, August 30, 2010

No-Ball, No Bail?

The News Of The World pulled off a stunning scoop yesterday with its exposure of an alleged match-rigging scandal involving Test cricket. A man has been arrested and released on police bail, and others have been spoken to by officers and had their mobile phones seized.
The allegations may or may not be true, but the case will take deft handling by the police and the courts. Investigations will not be swift, especially as enquiries will have to be made abroad. Detectives with a taste for travel and for curry will probably be angling to get on the squad as I write.
If a prima-facie case is established and someone is charged, the police bail will be replaced by court bail. Conspiracy can only be dealt with at the Crown Court, so it may well be a judge who decides on bail, and that isn't easy with foreigners. Do we allow them to leave the jurisdiction? If so, how do we ensure they come back? I have no idea what our extradition deal is with Pakistan, but it wouldn't be surprising if once there, suspects have little appetite for a flight back to face the Old Bailey.

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