Chris Cairns perjury trial November 23, 2015

Cairns jury retires to consider verdict

ESPNcricinfo staff

Chris Cairns could hear his fate tomorrow, in the eighth week of the trial © PA Photos

The jury in the Chris Cairns perjury trial retired to consider its verdict on Tuesday lunchtime after Justice Sweeney, the presiding judge, had completed his summing-up of the eight-week case.

"All going well, you will be deliberating tomorrow," the judge had told the jury on Monday during the second day of his conclusion, in which he completed his revisiting of the evidence of two of the three key witnesses, Lou Vincent and Eleanor Riley, Vincent's ex-wife.

During tomorrow's session, he will take the jury through the evidence of Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain, before assessing the joint charge of perverting the course of justice against Cairns and Andrew Fitch-Holland, his former attourney, and summing up the case for the defence.

Cairns denies two counts of perjury and perverting the course of justice, relating to his successful libel action against Lalit Modi in 2012, in which he stated that he had "never" cheated at cricket and would not contemplate doing so.

The charge of perjury requires the evidence of more than one key witness to be accepted as true. On Friday, Justice Sweeney advised the jury to treat the evidence of one of those three, Vincent, with care, given his self-confessed reputation as a liar.

"Provided you keep the warning clearly in mind, what you make of him in the end is entirely a matter for you and no-one else," Justice Sweeney told the jury.

Today, he added that the evidence of Ms Riley is the most important of the three, given that it is direct evidence taken from a night out with Cairns at the Manhattan Bar and Grill in Greater Manchester in 2008. On that evening, Cairns was alleged to have allayed Riley's fears about her then-husband's match-fixing by saying that "everyone did it in India, and they would not get caught".

In his defence, both Cairns and his then-wife, Mel, had denied that any such conversation had taken place. Riley had been "in drink", in the words of Cairns' lawyer, Orlando Pownall, QC, although she had insisted that her recall was accurate, adding that she would not have travelled all the way from New Zealand to lie in court.

Justice Sweeney also drew the jurors' attention to two further pieces of evidence. Andrew Hall, the former South Africa bowler, had testified that Cairns had told him that he had been suspended from the Indian Cricket League following allegations of match-fixing. And Cairns had also appeared on an ICC list of players with the "allegation Mr Cairns arranged match-fixing".

Neither of those allegations were "evidence of the truth", said Justice Sweeney. It was simply a fact of those matters existing.

If the jury is unable to return a verdict during Tuesday's session, prior commitments mean that the court will not be reconvened until Friday.

This story was updated at 1345GMT on Tuesday, November 24, to reflect that the jury had retired

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