Sledging lawyers put Cairns trial on hold

A heated argument between two lawyers has delayed the Chris Cairns perjury trial with the judge forced to intercede.

The trial of Chris Cairns has been marred by bickering between the Crown Prosecutor, Sasha Wass QC, and Cairns’ co-accused Andrew Fitch-Holland who is also a lawyer.

Wass opened her cross-examination by asking if Fitch-Holland had a “chequered” legal career.
“Is there some kind of implied moral criticism by the word chequered?” Fitch-Holland asked.
The heated exchange then continued, including a moment where Wass called Fitch-Holland a “cricket groupie” who saw Cairns as a means to change his career path. Fitch-Holland also sought to clarify or object to Wass’ questions on a number of occasions.
Justice Nigel Sweeney had to break up the simmering sledging match 10 minutes before lunch break.
“There will be no more tendentious arguments,” he ordered. “Each choose their words carefully and don't nit-pick, which means proper questions and proper answers.”
The matter could not be resolved in a prompt manner however, and the jury was sent home two hours early.
Fitch-Holland will now have to return to complete giving his evidence. He is the last witness before the judge sums up the case and the jury determines the verdict. The trial is expected to conclude sometime next week.

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