Cairns defence concludes in perjury trial

2015-11-07 07:54
Chris Cairns (AFP)

London - Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns' defence at his perjury trial closed their case on Friday after three days of evidence at London's Southwark crown court.

His legal team then gave way for the defence lawyers representing Cairns's co-defendant, Andrew Fitch-Holland.

Cairns himself gave evidence over two days and often faced detailed cross-examination.

His first day in the witness box saw Cairns reduced to tears while he spoke about his family, living in Australia.

Cairns' Australian wife, Mel Cairns, was a witness via video-link from Canberra on Thursday.

She denied she heard her husband discussing match-fixing. When accused of lying on behalf of her husband both during the present trial and in his 2012 libel action with former senior Indian cricket administrator Lalit Modi, Mel Cairns replied "absolutely not".

"I would never lie to help my husband, especially in a court of law," she said.

Fitch-Holland, a barrister and friend of Cairns, denied the prosecution's description of him as a "cricket groupie".

Chris Harris, another former New Zealand cricketer, previously gave evidence about an occasion at an exhibition match in 2010 when Fitch-Holland came up to him and a group of others.

Harris said someone asked what was going on with Cairns with regards to match-fixing rumours.

"Mr Fitch-Holland replied, to my surprise, 'Oh, he's guilty, Cairnsy's guilty'," Harris told the court. However, on Friday, Fitch-Holland said he was drunk at the time and did not remember the conversation.

Fitch-Holland also described the moment he first heard from Cairns of Indian Premier League founder Modi's Twitter post that said the New Zealander had been involved in match-fixing.

"My mobile phone rang and it was Chris, freaking out," said Fitch-Holland. "You won't believe this, Modi's fucked me. I'm done, He's tweeted I'm involved in match-fixing'."

The prosecution's main evidence against Fitch-Holland is a recording of a Skype conversation between him and Lou Vincent, another ex-New Zealand cricketer, in which he asked Cairns' former team-mate to provide a statement for the libel case.

However, Fitch-Holland told the court he had not asked Vincent, who has publicly admitted his role in match and spot-fixing, to lie.

Fitch-Holland will face cross-examination when the trial resumes on Monday.

Cairns faces a charge of perjury, and faces a joint charge with Fitch-Holland of perverting the course of justice by trying to get Vincent to provide a false statement.

Read more on:    chris cairns  |  cricket

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