Murder-accused Peter Beckett offered riches and a new lifestyle in Costa Rica to a Canadian cellmate he wanted to deal with key prosecution witnesses in his trial, a British Columbia court has been told.
The evidence was given on the second day of the trial in Kelowna by the cellmate, who also became a key prosecution witness after deciding to alert the authorities to what he said Beckett was planning.
Mr Anderson said Beckett, a former Napier city councillor, said a lot of money was coming his way if things were handled correctly. But Mr Anderson then sent a letter to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police lead investigator saying Beckett was looking to have witnesses taken care of.
He said in court Beckett asked how much of a retainer was necessary and was told of the possibility of a share of insurance and a lifestyle in Costa Rica.
"I wrote Mr Beckett was looking to have some witnesses taken care of," said Mr Anderson, who at the time was nearing release from prison.
Beckett, now 60, having grown-up in Hawke's Bay which he left in 2001 after serving a single term on the council, denies the murder of second wife Laura Letts-Beckett, a Canadian schoolteacher who he had met while he was running a Cape Kidnappers day excursion business from Napier.
She died on August 18, 2010, in what Beckett maintained was an accidental drowning when she had fallen overboard from an inflatable dinghy while the two were boating in a remote bay on Upper Arrow Lake, in the Kootenay National Park near Revelstoke, inland northeast of Vancouver.
But a year later he was arrested and charged with murder, which the Crown has alleged at the trial was a killing based on claiming on an inheritance and an accidental death life insurance policy worth C$200,000 ($220,000) purchased a month before the death of ranchers' daughter Ms Letts-Beckett.
Earlier, the trial which started on Monday was told how Beckett was found flicking through files in an office of Westlock lawyer Raymond Barlow who had drawn up two wills for Ms Letts-Beckett, one in the mid-1990s and the second in 2007, after she and Beckett had married.
In the Crown's opening address, prosecutor Evan Goulet said Beckett told at least one person in the aftermath of the death his wife fell off their zodiac slipped underwater, but he didn't notice until it was too late.
Mr Goulet contended said Beckett claimed to police he saw her flailing and tried to get down to save her.
Beckett, who at one stage chose to represent himself in the protracted proceedings, is represented in the trial by lawyer Marilyn Sandford. The Crown is calling 19 witnesses and the trial is expected to take three weeks.