17 Nov 2015

Cairns' lawyer says witnesses lied

7:30 am on 17 November 2015

The defence has told the jury in Chris Cairns' perjury trial that four of the nine witnesses who have given evidence against him have lied.

The former New Zealand cricketer is on trial in the Southwark Crown Court in London accused of lying under oath about match-fixing during a libel case in 2012.

Chris Cairns arriving for defence closing.

Chris Cairns arriving for defence closing. Photo: RNZ / Cushla Norman

In his closing address for the defence, Orlando Pownall QC told the court Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum had lied, and so had former players Daniel Vettori and Lou Vincent, and Vincent's former wife Eleanor Riley.

Mr Pownall said Vincent, who has accused Cairns in court of instructing him to fix games, knew the "vultures were circling" when investigators interviewed him in 2013, so formulated a plan to help himself.

Mr Pownall honed in on Vincent, raising questions about his credibility and reliability as a witness.

"Is Lou Vincent telling the truth? Despite his flaws, is he a witness you can trust?"

He said the jury may have sympathy with Vincent because of his history of depression and alcohol dependency. But he also told them Vincent was "no kid" and was someone who had once told his former wife he was "angry with New Zealand cricket and didn't owe them anything...I got shit money and now it's my turn."

Lou Vincent arriving at court today with wife Susie.

Lou Vincent and his wife Susie. Photo: RNZ/ Cushla Norman

Mr Pownall said Vincent's account that he was approached by an Indian bookie and then by Cairns in the space of a few hours in the same hotel did not withstand scrutiny.

Mr Pownall questioned why his client would instruct someone to fix when they had only just been approached, and challenged why he would ask someone of Vincent's "flakey personality."

Vincent confessed to fixing in 2013, naming Cairns and others he said he fixed for.

Mr Pownall said he then formulated a plan to help himself. "He had to identify a strategy, what am I going to do, how am I going to limit the damage I have done?"

Mr Pownall quoted Ms Riley's evidence to the court that her former husband implicated Cairns to avoid going to jail.

Vincent was "never arrested, cautioned, charged or paid back a penny piece," Mr Pownall told the court, adding that the life bans he had received were at end of his cricketing life.

The defence said it would outline how the three others had lied as it continued its closing argument.

The defence told the court the Crown has not established a money trail linking Cairns to fixing and urged the jurors to "follow the money."

"If you follow the money here it ends up in Lou Vincent's account," Mr Pownall told the jury.

The defence argued Vincent fixed for others, including Indian bookie Varun Gandhi, but never for Cairns.

Mr Pownall also told the court the Crown's argument that Cairns was being financed by Dubai-based diamond dealers to fix is groundless.

He said there was no evidence of Cairns "being flash", he did not own any property in Dubai and did not have an account with a "brimful of dollars."

Cairns had, "no money, no job and had been digging ditches in New Zealand before moving to Australia," Mr Pownall said.

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