Chris Cairns gets questioned by British police

AARON LAWTON AND SARAH HARVEY
Last updated 05:00 05/04/2014
Chris Cairns
CHRIS SKELTON/Fairfax NZ
ON THE DEFENCE: Chris Cairns has said he's hurt by the allegations.

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Embattled former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns has been interviewed by Scotland Yard and confirmed last night that investigators have returned to the United Kingdom.

Cairns, who has been at the centre of match-fixing allegations since they were raised late last year, told Fairfax Media he was unable to elaborate on his discussions with British metropolitan police.

Since his name was first linked to an International Cricket Council (ICC) corruption investigation, Cairns has strongly maintained his innocence while protesting he has been kept in the dark about the exact nature of the allegations.

After meeting with police representatives in Auckland this week, Cairns is likely to now at least know the extent of the claims but would not comment when asked about them. However, his trademark defiant position doesn't appear to have changed since the interview.

He said yesterday: ''I maintain I have nothing to hide and we remain totally committed to doing whatever it takes to prove that via whatever means necessary.''   

Cairns said the interview was cut short, but only because investigators had to return to the UK.

''I will therefore continue to liaise with them via my UK solicitors,'' he said.

''I have not been arrested or charged.''

Cairns also confirmed he was prepared to meet with officials from the ICC's Anti Corruption and Security Unit once British police have completed their inquiries.

''The ICC had also arranged to interview me this week in New Zealand,'' he said.

''Unfortunately that didn't go ahead, as they requested it be deferred while the metropolitan police inquiry is ongoing.'' Cairns said he couldn't elaborate any further ''at this stage'' given the matter is now part of a formal police investigation in the UK.

A UK metropolitan police spokesman said they could not comment about the meeting with Cairns or the nature of the investigation.

New Zealand Police were assisting their British colleagues with their inquiries but similarly refused to shed any light on the matter.

''New Zealand Police is providing assistance to an investigation being led by the Metropolitan Police Service. This investigation is ongoing,'' they said in a statement.

In December last year, Cairns and fellow former New Zealand team-mates, Daryl Tuffey and Lou Vincent, were first linked in media reports to an ICC investigation into allegations of match-fixing.

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Vincent said at the time he was co-operating with officials while Cairns and Tuffey confirmed they would also be prepared to if required.

The trio played together for the Chandigarh Lions in the now defunct Indian Cricket League.

Cairns left the ICL in 2008 and his exit was the focus of much scrutiny after former Indian cricket powerbroker Lalit Modi alleged on Twitter two years later it was due to match-fixing.

In 2012, Cairns, who strongly denied the allegations and insisted he left the ICL after failing to disclose an injury, successfully sued Modi for libel in the London High Court, winning $174,000 in damages and $774,000 to pay his legal fees.

Cairns' revelations that he has met with British investigators comes a week after his close friend, Andrew Fitch-Holland, a practising barrister, was arrested in the UK on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in a ''civil case''.

Fitch-Holland, who was a witness for Cairns in his libel trial, was later released on bail without charge.

Cairns has refused to comment on his friend's situation.

- Stuff

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