Legality of Sports Ministry inquiry into 2011 match-fixing allegations questioned

Senior Lawyer Nishan Premathiratne has questioned the legality of the investigations being conducted by Sri Lankan authorities into the recent match-fixing allegations by former Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage.

On 18 June, Aluthgamage said the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final between Sri Lanka and India was fixed, causing an uproar among cricketers and politicians, who called for an investigation into the matter.

A special investigating team of the Ministry of Sports on Wednesday (24) recorded a statement from Aluthgamage on his allegations, where he is said to have handed over a 6 -page letter to the investigation unit with details.

Following the recording of a statement, the former Minister clarified that he only “suspects” that the 2011 Cricket World Cup final between Sri Lanka and India was fixed.

Commenting on the ongoing investigations, Senior Lawyer Nishan Premathiratne said the Sri Lankan law in respect of corruption in sport came into effect in November 2019 and for an offense of match fixing to arise in terms of this law, the offense should be committed after the date of enactment of the law, adding that this law cannot be implemented in any manner or have retrospective effect.

He pointed out that in and around 2015 several players and officials were summoned by the Police Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) over various match- fixing allegations (mostly in the capacity as witnesses) despite the absence of laws in Sri Lanka in respect of corruption in sports. However nothing happened thereafter with the FCID inquiry.

The concurrent investigation conducted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in a discrete manner found no evidence of match- fixing.
The locally conducted investigations remain unwarranted and have caused significant damage to the persons summoned.

Proper Anti- corruption laws in respect of sport are not available in India to date to launch an investigation into the alleged match- fixing allegation and as a result local law enforcement authorities in India too cannot legally launch an investigation into the matter, he explained.
Nishan Premathiratne further said therefore, it was advisable to allow the Anti Corruption Unit of the ICC to conduct its own “discrete”investigation into the matter.

Sri Lankan investigators who are not empowered in terms of the law to inquire into this 2011 allegation, should leave the investigation to be conducted by the ICC , keeping in mind the best interests of the parties concerned in the allegation.

The issue must now be put to rest in Sri Lanka, until a verdict is issued by the International Cricket Council.

The summoning of more individuals for investigation will only create more media frenzy, which has already caused much public concern in both Sri Lanka and India, Premathiratne added.


List of allegations reportedly put forward by former Sports Minister Aluthgamage on 2011 WC Final

The post Legality of Sports Ministry inquiry into 2011 match-fixing allegations questioned appeared first on NewsWire.

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