Neil Yakimchuk appeals conviction in Isho Hana murder

A Calgary man convicted of a Saskatoon murder is appealing the ruling based on the role a police Mr. Big sting played in his confession.

Disputes role of Mr. Big sting in drawing confession

A bloody jacket on Preston Avenue marks where Isho Hana fell. (Saskatoon Police)

A Calgary man convicted of a 2004 murder in Saskatoon is appealing the trial outcome based on how police used a controversial technique to elicit a confession.

Neil Lee Yakimchuk, 34, is a serving a life sentence for the murder of Isho Hana. He was chased and gunned down on Preston Avenue on a spring night in 2004.

A recent Supreme Court ruling on so-called police Mr. Big stings is the basis for the appeal. The high court cast into doubt the admissibility of evidence gathered using the stings.

Police posing as criminals tricked Yakimchuk into admitting that he fatally shot Hana.

"The Learned trial judge erred in admitting evidence of a police undercover operation against the appellant," wrote lawyer Paul McMurray in the three-page notice file with the province's Court of Appeal.

This is the first murder conviction in Saskatchewan where the appeal is based on the Supreme Court ruling, but it's not the first time the issue has come up.

The Douglas Hales murder trial wrapped up weeks ago, with the judge setting the end of this month to deliver his ruling.

Police used a Mr. Big sting to trick Hales into leading officers to his victim's body and then confessing.

In light of the Supreme Court ruling, the judge will now hear arguments about how the high court decision should, or should not, influence his final decision.