A law expert believes David Bain is set to become a millionaire after reports a retired judge has recommended to the Department of Justice he is eligible for compensation.
Canadian judge Ian Binnie, who was reviewing the case for compensation, has reportedly come to the conclusion Bain is, on the balance of probability, innocent of the murders of his family members and should receive compensation.
Canterbury University law lecturer Chris Gallavin said Bain could be eligible for $100,000 for every one of the 13 years he was behind bars.
"That's just the starting point. It may be as high as $2 million or above," he said.
Although there is no legal right to compensation in New Zealand, under Cabinet guidelines, claimants can make a claim if they have had their convictions quashed on appeal, without order of retrial, or receive a free pardon.
However, Bain falls outside the guidelines because he was acquitted following a retrial.
Yet, the Crown can choose to consider claims, such as Bain's bid for compensation, in "extraordinary circumstances".
Prime Minister John Key said he was not in a position to confirm whether Bain would receive compensation.
"There are recommendations in the report but whether the government accepts those recommendations and under what basis is something cabinet would need to consider."
Gallavin said there were few circumstances the Government could now rely on to deny Bain compensation.
"I think around the cabinet table, the discussion will be focussing on the quantum now."
Bain's friend Catherine Spencer said she hoped the Government would take heed of the report.
"If it is what we are hearing, honour it, pay David compensation and let him get on with the rest of his life."
His representatives formally lodged a claim for compensation with the former Minister of Justice Simon Power in March 2010.
Bain was acquitted of murdering five of his family members in June 2009 after the Privy Council had earlier quashed his convictions and ordered a retrial.
Bain will not be able to apply for further compensation if the Crown rejects his claim.