UK

Chris Cairns trial: Former cricketer accused of perjury

New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns outside Southwark Crown Court, London Image copyright PA
Image caption Chris Cairns said under oath that he had never cheated at cricket

A former New Zealand international cricketer "manipulated the British legal system", a court in London heard.

Chris Cairns is being prosecuted for perjury after declaring under oath that he had never cheated at cricket during a libel case in 2012.

He successfully sued Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi over a tweet accusing him of match-fixing.

Mr Cairns, who is also charged with perverting the course of justice, denies all the charges against him.

Counsel for the Prosecution Sasha Wass QC said Mr Cairns had been "the golden boy in the cricket world whom every cricketer wished to emulate".

But his reputation was shattered after Mr Modi accused him on Twitter in January 2010 of match-fixing while playing for the Chandigarh Lions in the Indian Cricket League in 2008.

During England's first Twitter libel trial, Mr Cairns said under oath that he had never ever cheated at cricket, which the prosecution claims is untrue. Mr Cairns won damages of $130,000 (£90,000).

Ms Wass told the jury it would hear evidence from the current New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum and former team-mate Lou Vincent, who were both "targeted" by Chris Cairns to help him fix matches.

Mr McCullum, she said, refused to have anything to do with it while Lou Vincent was "corrupted by him".

Mr Cairns is also charged with perverting the court of justice. It is alleged that he and co-defendant Andrew Fitch Holland, a barrister friend who had given him legal advice, asked a witness to give false evidence.

The court heard a tape of a recorded Skype conversation between Mr Fitch Holland and Mr Vincent, who also played for the Chandigarh Lions under Chris Cairns and has admitted being involved in match-fixing. The prosecution claims the conversation was an attempt to induce Mr Vincent to lie to the court in order to help Mr Cairns's case.

"What all of this recognised was that Chris Cairns was indeed guilty of match-fixing," Ms Wass said.

Chris Cairns and Andrew Fitch Holland deny all charges.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Barrister Andrew Fitch-Holland is accused of perverting the course of justice

More on this story