13 Nov 2015

'Wall of evidence' against Cairns

8:36 am on 13 November 2015

The prosecution has ended its closing argument in Chris Cairns' perjury trial with a stinging attack on the cricketer, questioning his honesty and integrity.

Chris Cairns

Chris Cairns Photo: AFP

The former Black Cap all-rounder is on trial accused of lying under oath about match fixing during his successful defamation case in 2012.

At the end of her three-hour long closing argument, lead prosecutor Sasha Wass QC told the jury Cairns had disrespected a game commonly associated with fair play.

"Cricket players take pride...an honest player will walk..he won't stand around and argue the toss."

She told the court he had made a mockery of cricket, and disrespected the game and fans. "The top players don't cheat - it's not cricket."

Cairns was "arrogant beyond belief" after bringing a dishonest libel case in the High Court, said Ms Wass.

She told the jury their task was to answer three questions:

- Are you sure Chris Cairns was involved in fixing?

- Are you sure Andrew Fitch-Holland knew Chris Cairns was involved in fixing when he approached Lou Vincent in the Skype call?

- Are you sure Chris Cairns and Andrew Fitch-Holland together agreed Andrew Fitch-Holland should approach Lou Vincent to give a statement that was untrue?

Twenty-six witness have given evidence for the crown in this trial. Ms Wass told the court nine of the witnesses, including Black Cap captain Brendon McCullum, had given direct or indirect evidence that Cairns cheated at cricket or encouraged others to cheat for him.

McCullum and former Black Cap Lou Vincent had earlier told the court that Cairns approached them to fix games while they were playing in India in 2008. McCullum refused, but Vincent said he fixed five matches on Cairns' instructions.

Sasha Wass

Sasha Wass Photo: RNZ / Cushla Norman

Ms Wass told the jury Cairns had refused to explain why the nine witnesses would falsely implicate him, saying he was, "unable to make his theories sound anything but ludicrous."

The defence said McCullum's account was false but Ms Wass told the court no evidence had been provided to support that.

"Not a single reason has been put forward as to why Brendon McCullum, a man at the height of his career, would come to the Southwark Crown Court in order to incriminate a man he held in such high regard."

The defence said Vincent, a self-confessed match fixer, named Cairns to save his own skin, but Ms Wass told the court there was no evidence to support that argument. "He hasn't profited from implicating Chris Cairns...he has received 14 life bans."

Ms Wass also pointed to the evidence, that although McCullum and Vincent had taken several years to report Cairns' approach to authorities, they had told fellow players as early as 2008.

She dismissed the defence's argument that Vincent had planned Cairns' demise as "ludicrous".

"It's pretty unlikely he would have cooked up plan in 2008 and spent five years plotting Chris Cairns' downfall."

Ms Wass also told the court that other evidence pointed to Cairns' guilt; payments from diamond dealers who Cairns had no formal agreement with, large amounts of cash, bragging about not getting caught and an admission he had been dismissed from the Indian Cricket League because of match fixing rumours.

"If you use the analogy of the bricks, the wall is getting very high."

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