The question of why criminal charges were not brought against Lou Vincent has been raised by Chris Cairns‘ defence in his perjury trial at Southwark Crown Court. Vincent is one of the key witnesses against Cairns but has faced no legal action despite admitting to match-fixing and money laundering in the UK.
Vincent, who has previously said Cairns ordered him to fix matches, was banned from cricket for life in 2014 under ICC regulations and his evidence forms a large part of the case brought by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Vincent was not given any guarantees that he would not be charged by officers investigating the case but Oliver Pownall QC, representing Cairns, suggested the Metropolitan Police was only interested in material that could be used against Cairns.
The court also heard of CPS concerns that not pursuing charges against Vincent could “seriously undermine the prosecution”. Notes from a meeting in February 2014 questioned whether Vincent was “rushing to the door” to implicate others and minimise his own role.
However, detective chief superintendent Michael Duthie said that his main concern had been investigating the allegations of perjury, emphasising that issues to do with fixing were for the ICC and ECB. Cairns is accused of perjury and perverting the course of justice during his 2012 High Court libel action against Lalit Modi.
“My decision was to investigate what happened at High Court, not match-fixing,” Duthie said. “I knew [Vincent] cheated and lied. We didn’t give any immunity or promises. If he started giving evidence about criminality in interviews with our staff, we would have stopped and cautioned him.”
Pownall suggested that the idea Vincent would have been pursued for his crimes was a “sham” and that officers feared he would not give evidence against Cairns if he was also charged, something Duthie denied.
Duthie and detective constable Lucy Wade were the final witnesses to be called by the prosecution. Cairns, who denies all charges against him, is due to the take the stand next week.
The trial continues.
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.