ICC backs Hansen's judgement

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/i/icclogo.jpg' class='caption'> The ICC threw its weight behind justice John Hansen by saying his judgement was &quot;independent&quot; and he did not yield to any pressure.

Updated: February 02, 2008 09:56 IST
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The International Cricket Council threw its weight behind justice John Hansen, who dropped racist charges on Harbhajan Singh, saying his judgement was "independent" and he did not yield to any pressure.

ICC Chief Executive officer Malcolm Speed said the world governing body endorse the judgement of the New Zealand judge.

"Justice Hansen's judgement is a rigorous and independent document which clearly states the reasons for finding Harbhajan guilty of using abusive language against another player but not guilty of making a racist comment," said in a statement.

The Australian media severely criticised the judgement alleging that cash-rich Indian Cricket Board had influenced the judgement.

Speed however said the hearing was fair and was independent.

"The ICC endorses Justice Hansen's view that the ICC Code of Conduct is a robust and sound process designed to ensure a fair hearing for players.

"As Justice Hansen rightly points out, Code of Conduct Commissioners carry out their functions independently of the ICC and all other interested parties."

The ICC CEO also sought to defend match referee Mike Procter who had handed a three-match ban on the Indian spinner.

"Justice Hansen makes the valid point that the appeal hearing was very different to that which occurred in front of the Match Referee Mike Procter. The fact the charge was downgraded from a Level 3.3 to Level 2.8 is not a reflection on the process or Mr Procter's original finding."

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