"Convicted double-murderer Scott Watson will be back in court today, over how a long-awaited meeting with the father of Olivia Hope will play out. Watson, who's serving a life sentence for the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope in 1998, is challenging Corrections' refusal to allow a journalist to be present when the pair meet in prison. Ms Hope's father Gerald has no objection to North & South journalist Mike White's presence, as it'll mean he can finally put his questions to Watson. "I believe he's most probably the best-equipped - an independent journalist, a respected journalist, and I have no objection," Mr Hope told Paul Henry on Wednesday. The presence of a journalist is Watson's one condition to ensure the meeting is fairly documented. Mr White interviewed Watson last year, the prisoner saying police picked on him because his criminal record made him "an easy target". Ms Hope and Mr Smart were last seen in the early hours of January 1, 1998. Their bodies were never found. Watson was convicted in 1999, but has always maintained his innocence. After initially being pleased someone had been found responsible for his daughter's disappearance, it didn't take long for Mr Hope to have his doubts. "My wife and I and family sat through the 11 or 12 weeks of the trial. We were emotionally charged. We were listening for the conviction, we got a conviction. We walked away from that court feeling justice had been done. "But it was a time after that I suddenly was confronted with some of the inadequacies of the evidence."
If the meeting does happen, he's not expecting Watson to confess even if he did do it. "It's pretty hard to get a confession out of a convicted person. My plea is, Scott Watson, when we do meet, let's have an honest discussion.".........Watson's supporters gathered around the country at the weekend to call for his release. He's next up for parole in December."