3 Oct 2014

Chris Cairns bailed on perjury charge

2:42 pm on 3 October 2014

Former New Zealand captain Chris Cairns has been bailed by magistrates in London after being charged with perjury.

Chris Cairns (right) and his lawyer Colin Nott leave Westminster Magistrates Court.

Chris Cairns (right) and his lawyer Colin Nott leave Westminster Magistrates Court. Photo: RNZ / Tim Graham

The charge relates to a 2012 libel action in the High Court in London in which Cairns successfully sued the former head of the Indian Premier League, Lalit Modi, over accusations of match-fixing. The court ruled in Cairns's favour and ordered Mr Modi to pay damages.

In a brief hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, Cairns indicated he will contest the charge.

Cairns has described claims he fixed matches as "absurd" and recently said he would do "whatever it takes to again prove my innocence".

He was interviewed by police in London at his own request this year over the latest claims, which he denied.

The 44-year-old said in a statement earlier this month that he was "extremely disappointed" to have been notified by the Crown Prosecution Service that it was their intention to charge him with perjury.

Perjury carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years in Britain.

Chris Cairns's former lawyer, Andrew Fitch-Holland, has also indicated he will contest a related charge of perverting the course of justice and was also given bail.

The next hearing will be on 16 October.

Cairns, who played 62 test matches and more than 200 one-day internationals, flew to Britain in May to be interviewed by police and the sport's anti-corruption officials in a separate investigation into allegations of match-fixing. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Timeline of events

March 2012: Former New Zealand and Nottinghamshire all-rounder Chris Cairns denies accusations of being involved in match-fixing in the rebel Indian Cricket League in 2008 on the first day of a landmark case at the High Court in London. He is claiming substantial damages from former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi for an alleged libel on Twitter. Modi had accused Cairns of match-fixing in a tweet posted in January 2010.

Former IPL chairman Lalit Modi.

Former IPL chairman Lalit Modi. Photo: AFP

26 March 2012: Cairns wins £90,000 in libel damages over the Modi allegations. Modi also ordered to pay £400,000 in costs to Cairns' solicitors within 28 days.

5 December 2013: It is revealed that Cairns and fellow New Zealand players bowler Daryl Tuffey and batsman Lou Vincent are being investigated by the International Cricket Council (ICC) over match-fixing allegations.

10 December 2013: Cairns says he has engaged lawyers over match-fixing allegations despite investigators not contacting him yet.

14 December 2013: At least one match involving the Auckland Aces' provincial cricket team at the 2012 Champions League in South Africa is investigated by the ICC.

27 February 2014: Lou Vincent confirms that in January 2014 that he plead guilty to not reporting an approach from illegal bookmakers. Vincent was one of nine people investigated as part of a ICC anti-corruption investigation into match-fixing in the Bangladesh Premier League.

27 March 2014: A lawyer who had represented Cairns, Andrew Fitch-Holland, is arrested in London on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in relation to the libel case involving Cairns and Lalit Modi.

28 March 2014: Cairns acknowledges for first time that he is under investigation from the London Metropolitan Police and ICC's anti-corruption unit.

15 May 2014: New Zealand Cricket confirms investigation into Auckland Aces games at the 2012 Champions League in South Africa. Britain's Daily Telegraph suggests Lou Vincent was seeking plea bargain for full disclosure of his involvement in spot- and match-fixing.

Brendon McCullum.

Brendon McCullum. Photo: REUTERS

16 May 2014: Investigations into match-fixing allegations take a twist with the revelation that New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum rebuffed an approach from another player to manipulate a game. No details on dates or games have been confirmed, but multiple sources have corroborated the approach. McCullum confirms being approached by ICC.

18 May 2014: Britain's Daily Mail reveals Brendon McCullum's testimony, saying he told the ICC anti-corruption investigators a player offered him up to £107,000 to underperform.

20 May 2014: Cairns named as "Player X" in evidence to testimony to the ICC's anti-corruption unit by Lou Vincent and Brendon McCullum. Cairns issues statement insisting he stands by his earlier comments on the Vincent scandal, and that the allegations against him are "a complete lie".

22 May 2014: Brendon McCullum stands by his testimony to the ICC at a news conference in Christchurch and said he wouldn't hesitate to talk to officials again.

23 May 2014: The England and Wales Cricket Board charges Lou Vincent with match-fixing over a county cricket match.

26 May 2014: Cairns goes to London to talk to police.

30 May 2014: Cairns names New Zealanders Stephen Fleming, Daniel Vettori and Kyle Mills as players who are helping the ICC's investigation into alleged match-fixing.

19 June 2014: Lou Vincent banned from playing in Bangladesh Premier League for three years.

1 July 2014: Lou Vincent admits he is a match-fixing cheat and receives a life ban from the England and Wales Cricket Board. In a statement he says he has shamed New Zealand.

Watch video of Lou Vincent

4 September 2014: In London, Cairns' lawyers go to the Metropolitan Police to seek prosecution for match-fixing for Lou Vincent.

Read RNZ Sports Reporter Stephen Hewson's comments here

12 September 2014: Cairns announces he is to be charged with perjury by the Metropolitan Police.

Read RNZ Sports Reporter Stephen Hewson's comments here

18 September 2014: Brendon Brendon McCullum announces resolve to give evidence about alleged match-fixing.

26 September 2014: Cairns charged with one count of perjury in London after voluntarily returning to Britain. He denies any wrongdoing.

27 September 2014: London's Metropolitan Police announce there will be no further action taken against "a 33-year-old woman and 36-year-old man" in relation to Cairns' perjury trial.

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