10 Sep 2009

Xue to appeal against murder conviction

3:36 pm on 10 September 2009

The man who murdered his wife in Auckland before abandoning their daughter at a railway station in Melbourne has lodged an appeal against his conviction.

Nai Yin Xue was convicted in June this year after a jury in the High Court in Auckland found him guilty of strangling his wife An An Liu and leaving her body in a car boot in 2007.

Xue fled to the United States, but was caught months later by members of the Chinese community in Atlanta.

Radio New Zealand understands one of the reasons for the appeal is the fact that the jury was not sequestered.

During their deliberations, jurors went home for the evening under a new law that gives judges the discretion to allow that.

It is understood the judge's summing up, as well as other procedural matters, are also listed as reasons for the appeal.

Xue is serving a life sentence in Rimutaka Prison with a minimum non-parole period of 12 years. At this stage, no date has been set for the appeal.

The case came to light after security footage showed Xue abandoning his daughter Qian Xun, then aged three years old, at a railway station in Melbourne.

Jury rule changed

Changes to the rules about sequestering juries during deliberations were passed by Parliament in June last year and came into effect in December.

A Law Society spokesperson, Jonathan Krebs, says it is not appropriate to speak about any one case.

However, he says the previous regime was designed to protect jurors from media reports of a trial, which may be difficult to escape once they go home.

Mr Krebs says outside influences can be very subtle, so a particular example would be hard to pinpoint or prove before a court.