Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Andrew Fitch-Holland, the co-defendant in the Chris Cairns perjury trial, has told Southwark Crown Court that he never forced former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent to lie during the Lalit Modi libel trial.
Vincent allegedly provided a false witness statement during the trial in 2012, in which Cairns sued Modi after the former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman claimed that Cairns had been involved in match-fixing on Twitter. Cairns eventually won the case and was awarded $950,000 in damages.
Fitch-Holland, who is charged with perverting the course of justice, recalled the moment Cairns told him about what Modi has posted on Twitter, and said: “My mobile phone rang and it was Chris, freaking out, saying ‘You won’t believe this, Modi’s f***ed me. I’m done, he’s tweeted I’m involved in match fixing’.”
Earlier in the trial, Vincent provided the court with a Skype recording, in which Fitch-Holland allegedly admitted that Cairns had been involved in match-fixing as he was heard saying “we all know some of what is being said is clearly true”.
However, Fitch-Holland, a barrister who previously represented Cairns, insisted that he never coerced Vincent into providing a false witness statement and added that his remarks referred to other players who were involved in match-fixing during the Indian Cricket League (ICL).
“At the time of the Skype call, I had no idea that Lou Vincent had ever been involved in match fixing or spot fixing,” he said. “I had no reason to believe he was anything other than an honest, decent chap.
“At the time of the Skype call, I had no reason, nor do I now, to believe that Chris Cairns had been involved in match-fixing or spot-fixing.”
Fitch-Holland also revealed that Cairns had described all the rumours surrounding him being involved in match-fixing as “pub talk and bulls**t”.
“Not a single one of the many cricketers I know has ever suggested to me, by phone or to my face, that Chris Cairns has done anything corrupt,” Fitch-Holland told the court.
Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Harris told Southwark Crown Court last month that Fitch-Holland admitted that Cairns was guilty of match-fixing. However, while Fitch-Holland could not remember the conversation as he had been drinking alcohol, he believes that he had been talking about Cairns’ marital situation. The former all-rounder left his wife Carin in 2008 before getting remarried to his current wife, Mel.
“I would have said the only thing Chris Cairns is guilty of is not keeping his trousers zipped up,” Fitch-Holland said.
The trial continues.