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Timeline: John Barlow case

Published: 12:52PM Wednesday April 08, 2009 Source: ONE News

The following is a timeline of events in John Barlow's murder trial.

February 16, 1994 - Wellington financiers Eugene Thomas and his son Gene are shot to death in their office. John Barlow is the main suspect as he is the last person to have a scheduled appointment with Eugene.

First trial 1995 - Barlow is tried for the double murders. The main piece of police evidence is Barlow's CZ27 pistol, silencer and .32 ammunition. Evidence is introduced that Barlow was at the scene of the crime and took the pistol, which was his, from the crime scene. Defence points to lack of motive for the crime. Trial ends in a hung jury.

Second trial 1995 - Trial ends in a hung jury again.

Third trial 1995 - Prosecution introduces new forensic evidence. FBI scientist gives evidence saying his tests show bullets found at the crime scene were the same as bullets disposed of by Barlow, using comparative bullet lead analysis. Jury finds Barlow guilty of the double murders. Barlow is sentenced to life with non-parole period of 14 years.

1998 - NZ Court of Appeals denies Barlow an appeal.

2006 - The Governor General refuses a royal pardon.

March 2008 - Another attempt to have the Barlow case referred on to the Court of Appeal fails on review. Barlow's lawyer Greg King says he plans to take the case to the Privy Council in London.

July 2008 - King is successful in getting the law lords in London to hear the petition for special leave to appeal. The Privy Council had agreed to hear only 10 New Zealand appeals in the past 150 years.

November 2008 - Barlow has his first parole hearing and secures a two-day Privy Council appeal in February 2009.

February 2009 - King rubbishes FBI forensic evidence at the Privy Council in London. Law lords take six weeks to reach verdict and decide Barlow's fate.

April 2009 - Barlow is denied parole, with the Parole Board saying he still poses "an undue risk to the safety of the community".

July 2009 - Barlow loses his final bid to have his convictions overturned, as the Privy Council in London rules against his appeal. He says he is "flabbergasted" at the result.

March 2010 - Barlow is denied parole for a third time.

18 August 2010 - Barlow is granted parole under several special conditions and his release date is set.

25 August - John Barlow is released from Rimutaka Prison after almost 16 years behind bars.

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