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Kiwi allegedly tried to arrange killing of witnessses

Published: 3:41PM Wednesday December 12, 2012 Source: ONE News

A former Napier city councillor charged with murdering his Canadian wife has now been accused of trying to arrange the killing of witnesses in his trial in Canada.

Peter Beckett and his 50-year-old wife Laura Letts-Beckett were fishing on Arrow Lake in British Columbia in August last year, when she drowned.

Not wearing a life-jacket and unable to swim, Letts-Beckett's death was originally treated as a tragic accident.

However, Beckett was later arrested and charged with first degree murder by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after they announced in June, 2011 they were treating the case as homicide.

Police in British Colombia say 56-year-old Peter Beckett was attempting to influence the outcome of his trial and he has this week been charged with counselling to commit murder and obstruction of justice.

He was already in custody after the death of his wife.

Beckett was a Napier city councillor from 1998 to 2001. He had run for council on an anti-corruption platform but lasted only one term.

He was an adventure tourism entrepreneur in Hawke's Bay but he had been working as a school bus driver in Edmonton since he left New Zealand 10 years ago.