Andrew Fitch-Holland was accused of concocting a "convoluted explanation" of a recorded Skype call with Lou Vincent in order to put an "innocent meaning on very guilty words", a court has heard.

The 50-year-old barrister is charged with perverting the course of justice for allegedly trying to convince Vincent to give a false statement to support Chris Cairns' libel case against Lalit Modi.

Vincent recorded the conversation which has been played to the jury at the Southwark Crown Court several times.

In giving evidence, Fitch-Holland said he did not know Vincent was fixing cricket games and has never believed his friend Cairns was involved in corrupt activity.

Chris Cairns at court. Photo / Chris Gorman
Chris Cairns at court. Photo / Chris Gorman

"I can't read Lou Vincent's devious little mind. I know things now about Lou Vincent, as we all do, that I didn't know at the time."

He told the jury he was trying to persuade and reassure a reluctant Vincent to "step up for a mate" and support Cairns.

One excerpt from the Skype call quotes Fitch-Holland asking Vincent to sign a simple statement confirming the cricketer was "one of the 11 people on the field in those games and from where you were standing everything seemed okay".

Vincent later said: "It's a big ask from me, to sort of like you say in a legal document to say something that isn't true."

"Well that's right, well then again," Fitch-Holland said.

Fitch-Holland told the jury the "clearly true" comment referred to corruption within the Chandigarh Lions, but not Cairns.

If that was the truth, Crown prosecutor Sasha Wass QC suggested Fitch-Holland had not made himself clear.

"Given I've been profoundly misinterpreted, obviously not," replied Fitch-Holland.


"I did not ask Lou Vincent to lie."

On the Skype recording, Ms Wass said Vincent appeared to think Fitch-Holland was asking him to lie, that it was a "big ask" to give false evidence, and Fitch-Holland seemed to agree.

"I'm agreeing that it's a big ask that it's a lie on a legal document. I'm not asking Lou to lie."

The Queen's Counsel moved to the topic of money.

In the Skype call, Vincent said "I have not seen any, um anything for what's happened" and Fitch-Holland finished his sentence with "benefit yeah".

He then told Vincent he had not received "dollar one from Christopher".

In giving evidence, Fitch-Holland said he thought Vincent was referring to being owed money from the Indian Cricket League.

Ms Wass said Cairns was not responsible for the ICL owing money to players and Vincent and Fitch-Holland were both talking about Cairns owing them money.

Fitch-Holland denied this and said a number of ICL players blamed Cairns for the demise of the tournament, following his unexpected departure.

In the Skype call, Vincent said he was "not proud at all what has happened" and it was "hard for me to live with what's gone on".

Fitch-Holland said he thought Vincent was referring to playing in the ICL, which he described as a "car crash" of a tournament.

Vincent was ashamed of match-fixing for Chris Cairns, said Ms Wass, and Fitch-Holland "knew perfectly well" what he was referring to.

"I disagree entirely. All I can tell you is what I thought he meant."

Ms Wass said Fitch-Holland had worked very hard to come up with a "convoluted" explanation to give "innocent meaning to those very guilty words".

"Simply not true," said Fitch-Holland.

In his police interview, Fitch-Holland hoped that he would not be charged as Vincent was a self-confessed liar and cheat who had committed crimes in the United Kingdom.

"I hoped that I would be believed over him, as I hope now I will be believed over him."

Fitch-Holland finished giving his evidence and is the last witness to take the stand.

Legal argument will dominate the hearing tonight (NZT) and the Crown is expected to begin summing up the case later this week.


AFH: ...between you and I, we all know some of what is being said is clearly true

AFH: what they are saying is you were one of the 11 people one the field in those games and from where you were standing everything seemed okay, full stop.

LV: that's obviously it's not you know because I it wasn't

AFH: well yeah so

LV: It's a big ask from me to sort of like you say in a legal document to say something that isn't true

AFH: well that's right, well then again

LV: when I have not seen any um anything for what's happened.

AFH: Benefit yeah

LV: yeah you know what I mean now I'm not only am I indefinitely waiting for a return on that involvement ah now I have been legally asked to sort of be involved and from my position

AFH: yeah

LV: it's like I feel like I'm being used again.

LV: It's a horrible situation because I want to be there for a mate as well and Cairnsy has been a mate although you know like I have said I am not proud of what has happened at all what has happened has been something that I've I don't think I am it's hard for me to live with what's gone on.