A former Napier City councillor who has stood trial twice accused of murdering his wife in Canada could have his fate decided by that county's highest court
Kiwi Peter Beckett recently successfully appealed against a first-degree murder conviction after his wife Laura Letts-Beckett drowned in a lake northeast of Vancouver.
Beckett met his elementary school teacher wife when she was touring New Zealand and then moved to Canada to be with her.
However, she then died more than 10 years ago after they had been out fishing in a small inflatable boat.
Her death was initially reported as a drowning, Beckett claiming she accidentally fell from the boat, but he was arrested a year later and charged with her murder.
Beckett's first trial ended with a hung jury after more than a week of deliberation among the jurors.
He was then convicted of first-degree murder in the second trial, but successfully overturned the conviction on appeal to the British Columbia Court of Appeal.
Now Canadian prosecutors have revealed they plan to appeal against Beckett's overturned conviction by taking the case to the Supreme Court of Canada - the highest court in the country.
Beckett will file a response to prosecutors and then the court will decide if it can hear the matter or not, Canadian media outlet Kamloops This Week reported.
If the Supreme Court doesn't hear the case the matter would return to the British Columbia's supreme court and prosecutors will decide whether to pursue a third trial, KTW said.
Earlier, a three-judge BC Court of Appeal panel overturned Beckett's conviction in his second trial.
It called the Crown's case weak and suggested "in no uncertain terms that prosecutors think twice about running a third trial", KTW said.
"In these circumstances, a very real question arises as to whether it is in the interests of justice to proceed with yet a third trial," the outlet reported BC Court of Appeal Justice Laurie Ann Fenlon as writing.
"That decision, however, ultimately lies with the Crown."
Fenlon said the judge and prosecutors made mistakes during Beckett's second trial.
That included incorrectly instructing the jury they could rely on evidence that Beckett had fabricated his story to police as evidence of his "after-the-fact consciousness of guilt", without independent evidence Beckett's story had been fabricated.
During the 2017 trial the former Napier man was accused of pushing his wife into the water and leaving her to drown to cash in on a $200,000 accidental death insurance policy the couple had bought just two months prior to the water tragedy.
He was found guilty of first degree murder for drowning his wife after an earlier trial ended in a hung jury. He was sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment without possibility of parole.
Beckett had appealed against his murder conviction and lengthy jail term, hoping to have a full acquittal, and walk away a free man.
Instead, the murder charge still remains and it is now up to the Crown to see if Beckett will take the stand for the third time.