6 Nov 2015

Chris Cairns' wife accused of lying during match-fixing trial

7:51 am on 6 November 2015

The wife of Chris Cairns has been accused in court of lying to help her husband, who is on trial in London accused of perjury.

Cairns is accused of lying under oath about match-fixing during a successful libel case in 2012.

His former Black Cap teammates Brendon McCullum, Lou Vincent and Vincent's former wife Eleanor Riley have all told Southwark Crown Court of hearing Cairns discussing his involvement in fixing.

Appearing as a witness for the defence via video link from her Canberra home, Ms Cairns told the jury she would rather give her evidence in the London courtroom, but could not afford the trip. She said it broke her heart to see Cairns walk to and from court alone every day.

She rejected Ms Riley's account of a night out in England with their husbands where she said Cairns reassured her he and Vincent would not get caught fixing.

She told the court they had all had "quite a lot to drink" but she did not hear Cairns reassure Ms Riley or hear Ms Riley express fears.

Under cross-examination by the prosecution, Sasha Wass QC asked Ms Cairns if Ms Riley had any reason to lie about her husband. Ms Cairns told the court that as far as she knew "Chris and Eleanor had not had an argument".

Ms Wass put it to Ms Cairns that unlike Ms Riley, who is not on good terms with Vincent, she had motive to lie.

"You love your husband very much, you have two young children, you have every motive to support your husband."

Ms Cairns rejected that suggestion telling the jury, "I have no motive to lie, I have no reason to lie".

Ms Wass referred Ms Cairns to her witness statement from the Lalit Modi libel trial, which read: "I want to believe him and I want the world to believe him".

The prosecutor asked Ms Cairns, "Is the reality you really want to help your husband even if it means not telling the truth?"

Ms Cairns replied "I would never lie to help my husband in a court of law."

Relationship with Shah family questioned

The court was told Ms Cairns met a married Cairns in January 2008 and by July of that year they were living in an apartment in Dubai.

The court has previously heard that Cairns worked for a Dubai-based diamond business run by father and son VJ and Vishal Shah, who he first met in 2006. Earlier, Cairns told the court that at one time the Shahs paid him up to $300,000 for relocation costs to Dubai, including money for rent and a retainer.

Ms Cairns was asked by both the defence and the prosecution about her husband's relationship with the Shah family and their company, Vijay Dimon.

She told the court that in 2009 Cairns was working and training in the diamond trade with the Shahs while she was working for a professional sports group in Abu Dhabi.

Ms Cairns said he she had met the Shah family and that Vishal and Cairns were friends.

She told the court she wasn't sure exactly how much Cairns was earning, but believed "he was paid well."

Ms Cairns said her husband's interest in diamonds was "very genuine" and he did a three month polishing course in Thailand. When asked what Cairns did for the Shahs, Mrs Cairns told the jury he went into the office and was on-call if the Shahs wanted him to attend a dinner.

Under cross-examination Ms Wass put it to Ms Cairns that she "never really taxed (Cairns) on how much he was paid." Ms Cairns replied, "I've never questioned his relationship with the Shahs".

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