In an unusual move, the appeal for a central Newfoundland man convicted of killing young daughters will proceed without him.
Nelson Hart was convicted in 2007 of two counts of first-degree murder in the drowning deaths of his twin daughters, Krista and Karen, in Gander Lake in 2002. The girls were three years old at the time.
Hart, 42, has continually expressed a mistrust of the justice system, and has often refused to leave his cell to take part in proceedings via a video link with the Supreme Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Randy Piercey, a St. John's defence lawyer, has been appointed as a friend of the court in order to represent Hart's interests.
Hart's wife, Jennifer Hart, recently failed in an attempt to become his legal guardian at the appeal so that she could hire a lawyer on his behalf.
Hart's appeal focuses in part on how the RCMP used a covert sting operation in which Hart was recorded describing how he killed his daughters to a man he believed to be the head of a large criminal organization. The man was actually an undercover police investigator.
Hart was given an automatic life sentence, with no chance for parole for 25 years.