New affidavits will be considered in Susan Neill-Fraser's appeal

CONVICTED: Susan Neill-Fraser was found guilty for the murder of her partner Bob Chappell in Hobart on Australia Day, 2009.
CONVICTED: Susan Neill-Fraser was found guilty for the murder of her partner Bob Chappell in Hobart on Australia Day, 2009.

An application to re-open Susan Neill-Fraser's bid to appeal against her murder conviction to include new evidence has been accepted by Justice Michael Brett in the Supreme Court.

Neill-Fraser is serving a 23-year jail sentence for the murder of her partner Bob Chappell, who disappeared off the couple's yacht, the Four Winds, moored in Sandy Bay on Australia Day 2009.

She is trying to gain another appeal against her conviction and needs to show fresh and compelling evidence for the appeal to be granted.

An episode of 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday night, but was not broadcast in Tasmania, contained evidence of a new affidavit by key witness Meaghan Vass, which allegedly contained information about the events that took place on the Four Winds. 

Justice Brett said he did not view the 60 Minutes program but was aware of its contents.

Upon seeing the program, Neill-Fraser's defence lawyers called the producers of the segment and gained a copy of Ms Vass' affidavit. 

The court heard this affidavit and an affidavit from the person who witnessed Ms Vass make her statement, in order to explain the circumstance under which Ms Vass made the affidavit, will be made available to Justice Brett and the prosecution for consideration in the coming days. 

Director of Public Prosecutions Daryl Coates did not object to the re-opening of the appeal. 

Mr Coates said it was unlikely he would need to call Ms Vass back as a witness in court, however, said he would make that decision upon receiving the new affidavits. 

"It may well be that I won't have to cross-examine anybody," Mr Coates said. 

Following the evidence of a final witness in February, Justice Michael Brett was due to deliver a verdict on Neill-Fraser's final appeal attempt.  

Justice Brett adjourned the court to reconvene on Thursday.