LONDON: Convicted fast bowler Muhammad Aamer is set to be released from the young offenders institute in Weymouth next month, on completion of half of the jail term he was awarded by a court.
Arsalan Abbasi, Aamer’s friend and a legal guarantor in the UK, said the bowler would be released from Her Majesty’s Prison Portland, Dorset, England, on February 9, at the half leg of his six months jail term and added that he would complete part of his remaining sentence on licence at a London address.
“Aamer will be allowed to stay in London for about three weeks and then he will leave for Pakistan,” Abbasi told The News, emphasising: “He (Aamer) will not be deported to Pakistan.”Aamer’s lawyers and the UK Border Agency have reached an agreement that he would leave the UK on his own and that there would be no immigration restrictions on him if he ever wanted to return to the country, Abbasi added. A probation officer from the Prison Services visited the particular address — belonging to a close friend of Aamer — two weeks ago and cleared it for the cricketer to stay on condition of keeping in touch with the services.
During the sentence hearing at the Southwark Crown Court of the spot-fixing trial, no recommendation for deportation of Aamer was made but this scribe has learnt that if a sentence is less than 12 months, the judge usually leaves it to the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to recommend deportation or otherwise.
In the case of Aamer, he will be leaving the country on his own accord at the completion of his agreed time period. A legal expert told The News that after the UK sentencing of Aamer is over, he still has a few years of ban from the International Cricket Council (ICC) but once that’s over he should have no restrictions on his trade and he can play in the UK again if he is selected by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“I can’t see him being refused a visa to the UK or anywhere else,” said the legal expert. After being sentenced to six months detention on November 3 last year with fellow players Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif, the young bowling genius was first sent to Feltham Young Offenders Institution and then, within three days, to the Prison Portland.
A source told The News that Aamer spent his time at the youth hostel, playing different sports, attended education classes, exercised regularly at the gym. He was allowed free access to internet and library. and also worked for a charity.