New Zealand star Cairns` lawyer arrested

AFP| Updated: Mar 27, 2014, 20:52 PM IST

Wellington: The London lawyer who successfully represented New Zealand cricket star Chris Cairns in a high-profile libel suit has been arrested, the cricketer said on Thursday, amid reports it was connected to his match-fixing related case.

Cairns, who is at the centre of ongoing match-fixing allegations, said he had learned his lawyer Andrew Fitch-Holland had been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

London`s Metropolitan Police would only say the arrest was in relation to a civil case, but New Zealand reports said it was connected to the libel case involving Cairns and the former boss of the Indian Premier League Lalit Modi.

In March 2012, Cairns won 90,000 pounds ($147,000) in a libel action against Modi in London over a tweet that alleged the New Zealand all-rounder was involved in match-fixing. Modi`s appeal against the decision was overturned.

Cairns confirmed he knew of Fitch-Holland`s arrest but did not know the details.

"I don`t know. I don`t know just what this is about. Nobody has engaged with me about the entire process or what it pertains to," he told Radio Sport.

"This is something that happened over in England with Andrew and again I can only state that it`s inappropriate for me to comment on someone else`s legal situation."

Cairns said police and the International Cricket Council had been in touch with him.

"I`ll be engaging with them over the coming days and weeks, I still don`t have any detail about the basis or nature of their enquiry."

A Metropolitan Police statement issued today said a 49-year-old man, understood to be Fitch-Holland, had been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

"We can confirm a 49-year-old man attended a central London police station on Wednesday afternoon where he has been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in relation to a civil case heard at the High Court," the statement said.

"As part of inquiries a search warrant has been executed at a residential property in Essex (east of London).

"Inquiries are ongoing and we are not prepared to discuss the matter further at this time for operational reasons."

The Met later confirmed the arrested man had been bailed.

Cairns and two other former New Zealand players, Daryl Tuffey and Lou Vincent, are being investigated by the ICC anti-corruption unit in relation to suspicion of match and spot-fixing.

Cairns, 43, is one of only 12 players in Test cricket history to score the all-rounders` double of 200 wickets and 3,000 runs.