Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
British prosecutors have charged former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns with perjury, meaning that he could spend up to seven years in prison.
The charge relates to a 2012 libel action suit that Cairns won against former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi.
Modi had used his Twitter account to accuse the former all-rounder of match-fixing during the now-defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL).
Cairns won £90,000 as a result of the libel action suit and has continuously insisted that he is innocent and has never been involved in match-fixing.
While Cairns was charged with perjury, his friend, Andrew Fitch-Holland, who appeared as a witness during the 2012 libel trial, has been charged with perverting the court of justice.
Both Cairns and Fitch-Holland were charged at a central London police station and are set to appear in court on October 2.
The Metropolitan Police have also announced that two other people, a 33-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man, have been released without being charged.
“I’m obviously extremely disappointed,” Cairns said. “However, at least there will now be an opportunity to face my accusers in an open forum, with some rigour and proper process around that, so that I can clear my name once and for all.”