Cairns to enter perjury charge plea

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Published: Friday 16th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Former New Zealand cricket captain Chris Cairns will appear before a senior judge at the Old Bailey later to enter a plea to a perjury charge linked to a libel action he brought in the UK in 2012.

The 44-year-old faced the allegation in light of being awarded £90,000 in damages after he sued Lalit Modi, founder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament, over an accusation of match-fixing made on Twitter in January 2010.

Cairns, of Clifton Road, Herne Bay, Auckland, is due to appear before Mr Justice Sweeney alongside barrister Andrew Fitch-Holland, who faces one count of perverting the course of justice.

Fitch-Holland, 49, of Duddenhoe End, Saffron Walden, Essex, is described on his chambers’ website as ”lead adviser to former NZ captain Chris Cairns in his libel action against former IPL head Lalit Modi”.

Both men are on unconditional bail and have previously indicated they will contest the allegations.

A trial is expected to last around four weeks and is expected to begin on October 5, during the “cricket desert” when there are few fixtures in the sport’s calender.

Cricketers from around the world are expected to give evidence in the case.

In 2007 and 2008, Cairns captained the Chandigarh Lions in three competitions in the Indian Cricket League (ICL), which flourished briefly before the ascendancy of the IPL.

The allegation made by Mr Modi related to the second and third of these competitions, between March and April 2008 and October and November that year.

Cairns is charged with making a false statement in judicial proceedings.

Specifically, it is alleged that between October 1 2010 and March 31 2012, having been sworn as a witness in judicial proceedings, he made a statement which he knew to be false or did not believe to be true, namely that he had never cheated at cricket and nor would he contemplate doing such a thing.

Fitch-Holland is charged with committing an act or series of acts with intent to pervert the course of public justice; namely, asking former New Zealand player Lou Vincent to provide a false witness statement in connection with proceedings relating to the libel action between Cairns and Mr Modi in the High Court, which had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice.

After learning he would be charged, Cairns said in a statement that he had “nothing to hide” and he would do “whatever it takes” to prove his innocence.

Published: Friday 16th January 2015 by The News Editor

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