• Cairns received money from diamond business in Dubai
• QC tells court Cairns saw diamond trade as career beyond cricket
• Vincent denies he's writing a book on match-fixing saga

• READ MORE: Lou Vincent a 'devious and sly liar'

"Follow the money" and the trail will lead to Indian match-fixers and away from Chris Cairns, his lawyer told the jury.

In summing up the defence case in the seventh week of the trial, Orlando Pownall QC poured scorn on the Crown accusation that a wealthy family running a diamond business were the "paymasters" behind Cairns' alleged match-fixing gang.

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The Queen's Counsel said the Crown did not produce any evidence to back up the "groundless" allegation and the jury should not read anything into the fact that the Shah family did not appear as defence witnesses.

"Questions are not evidence," said Mr Pownall, referring to Crown prosecutor Sasha Wass' cross-examination of his client over payments of US $250,000 he received from Vijay Dimon, a diamond business based in Dubai.

Cairns said the money was to pay for his relocation and accommodation costs, as well as a retainer for PR work. He saw the diamond trade as a career beyond cricket.

Ms Wass said it was "dirty money" to pay for match-fixing, but in response Mr Pownall said the Crown was trying to shift the burden of proof on to Cairns.

Chris Cairns and Lou Vincent pictured in Manchester in 2008. Photo / Supplied
Chris Cairns and Lou Vincent pictured in Manchester in 2008. Photo / Supplied

If the Shahs were corrupt match-fixers who "play with a few diamonds on the side", Mr Pownall said the Crown should provide proof.

Apart from adding an "aura of intrigue", Mr Pownall said the diamond allegation did not stack up as "a brick in the wall" of evidence the Crown referred to in closing.

"Or even the cement holding them together," he added.

No money trail existed from Lou Vincent to Chris Cairns, except for the US$2500 Vincent claimed Cairns gave him as spending money during a holiday to Dubai, said Mr Pownall. This gift was denied by Cairns.

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In giving evidence, Cairns said he thought the Shahs might have paid Vincent, Tuffey and himself to fly to Dubai.

This was a "slip" said the Crown and described the trip as a "thank you" for the alleged match-fixing trio as a fourth player, Matthew Elliott from Australia, had to pay for his own flight.

Mr Pownall questioned why Cairns would invite Elliott, not alleged to be match-fixing, on a trip where Vincent - known to be loose-lipped when drinking - could say something out of turn.

Lou Vincent arrives at Southwark Crown Court with partner Susie Markham. Photo / Chris Gorman
Lou Vincent arrives at Southwark Crown Court with partner Susie Markham. Photo / Chris Gorman

Instead, the QC invited the jury to "follow the money" from Vincent to match-fixers Varun Gandhi and Nazeem Gulzar.

He admitted receiving up to $120,000 from them in return for information on the matches he fixed in the Indian Cricket League and underperforming in English county cricket.

When looking at Vincent's allegations against Cairns, Mr Pownall invited the jury to replace the name of Cairns for Gandhi or other match-fixers.

The corrupt activity was the same but the difference was a critical one for Lou Vincent, said Mr Pownall, as part of his "exit strategy" was to give up a big name in cricket to soften his punishment.

Vincent's 'Great Escape'

"How I fixed for Mr Gandhi would not set the world alight as much as Chris Cairns, Hero to Zero," said Mr Pownall, referring to a book he said Vincent would "undoubtedly" publish at some point.

Vincent denied he was writing a book, but other witnesses such as Andre Adams said his friend had mentioned one.

Earlier in the day, Mr Pownall said The Great Escape was an apt title for the book as Vincent should have been prosecuted for the crimes he committed in cricket.

He said Vincent was not a victim but a "devious and sly" liar who had devised a strategy to minimise his own involvement.

Vincent had denied writing a book but Mr Pownall said a "work of fiction" would undoubtedly be published, which should be titled The Great Escape rather than The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth.

The former New Zealand batsman, who alleged he fixed matches at the Chandigarh Lions under the instructions of Cairns, admitted telling lies to cricket authorities on countless occasions, said Mr Pownall.

Eleanor Riley, Lou Vincent's former wife, at Southwark Crown Court. She has also given evidence at the trial.
Eleanor Riley, Lou Vincent's former wife, at Southwark Crown Court. She has also given evidence at the trial.

He said Vincent also lied to the jury from the moment he stepped into the witness stand.
This was because Justice Nigel Sweeney, on information available at the time, warned Vincent he did not have to answer questions which might incriminate himself.

This formal caution, said Mr Pownall, might have strengthened Vincent's credibility as the jury might have thought there was a "real possibility he could walk out of here and be placed in handcuffs".

The reality was the warning was a "sham", said the QC, because Vincent knew there was no risk of being prosecuted.

Emails which emerged after Vincent gave evidence showed the police gave him assurances he would not be investigated as long as no new information "came to light".

This was despite Vincent admitting receiving 120,000 pounds from match-fixers, which broke a number of money laundering and fraud laws in the United Kingdom.

These assurances were at odds with the Crown's suggestion there was "nothing in it" for Vincent to give evidence, said Mr Pownall, because he had received 11 life bans from cricket - at the end of this career.

The true position was the Crown Prosecution Service was concerned about whether Vincent should be arrested or interviewed under caution, said Mr Pownall.

QC accuses Vincent of trying to save himself

Other emails showed the CPS questioned whether Vincent was trying to diminish his role as he seemed to be a "major player" and asked whether he was "rushing to the door to get in first".

A later email chain showed the CPS changed its position and it would be "down to the jury whom they would believe".

"Is this unusual -- where people who commit crimes escape punishment?" asked Mr Pownall.

The QC pointed out that Ellie Riley, Vincent's former wife, gave evidence that Vincent would offer up a "big name" to help him with the authorities. In an interview with Radiosport host Tony Veitch, Vincent said he had "spent the past 12 months trying to stay out of prison".

Giving up a big name was part of his strategy, or "insurance policy", should he ever be caught.

"He's been successful. Never arrested, cautioned, charged, or had to pay back a penny piece," said Mr Pownall.

Vincent was still in touch with Lalit Modi, whom Cairns successfully took a libel case against, in the hope of favours from the extremely wealthy businessman, said Mr Pownall.

"Whatever happens in this case there will be further rumblings in the High Court between Modi and Cairns."

The Queen's Counsel warned the jury about the power of words and how they could be represented.

One example was the Crown stating that Andre Adams, the former New Zealand cricketer, heard Cairns openly "boasting" of match-fixing in the Indian Cricket League.

"If that had been said, that would be a telling piece of evidence. An admission. Mr Adams never said that. The word boasting never passed his lips," said Mr Pownall.

"He told you Chris Cairns said even if there is match-fixing, what does it matter, what are they going to do, how will they ever prove it."

Mr Pownall also criticised investigators from the International Cricket Council for viewing Cairns with an "assumption of guilt", or confirmation bias, which "perniciously" infected the evidence.

This is where evidence which confirms guilt is "embraced vigorously", but anything that doesn't is largely ignored.

He pointed to the statement of an umpire who gave a statement about Cairns' final game in the ICL, between the Chandigarh Lions and Hyderabad Heroes, before he was dismissed on October 28 2008.

The unnamed umpire, who was due to be a witness in the trial but was not called, said Chris Cairns bowled terribly, was stumped after rushing up the pitch, and Dinesh Mongia offered up a "silly catch", said Mr Pownall.

The reality was Cairns did not bowl, because of his ankle injury, and was not stumped in the entire third edition of the ICL while Mongia was the top run scorer in that particular match.

The umpire was not lying, said the QC, but it was an illustration of "confirmation bias" where evidence was embraced without scrutiny.

"A mistake has been made. A telling one. What he saw, never happened."

In closing for the Crown last week, Ms Wass said the defence's "conspiracy theory" claimed that nine witnesses were lying to implicate Cairns.

In reply, Mr Pownall said that was not the defence case. But he alleged Vincent and Brendon McCullum - two witnesses who gave direct evidence of match-fixing allegations against Cairns - were lying, as was Ellie Riley and Daniel Vettori.

McCullum did not mention the names of Lou Vincent or Daryl Tuffey - whom Vincent alleged were working for Cairns - in his first two statements to investigators.

Other witnesses, such as Ricky Ponting or Kyle Mills, were not lying, but simply repeating what they had been told, Mr Pownall said.

- Jared Savage in London