A hearing of the appeal by the twice-convicted wife killer, Nat Fraser, has been fixed for 9 April next year.
Fraser, 53, was found guilty in May of arranging the murder of his estranged wife, Arlene, 33, who vanished from her home in New Elgin, Moray, in 1998.
A jury in 2003 had also returned a guilty verdict and although Fraser lost an appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh, a retrial was allowed when the Supreme Court in London held that his trial had been unfair because evidence was not disclosed to the defence lawyers.
His appeal in relation to the retrial centres on a reference by a witness to Fraser’s personality having changed “after he had been imprisoned for a previous incident.”
Information about an assault by Fraser on his wife a month before she disappeared was being withheld from the jury, but the judge, Lord Bracadale, allowed the trial to continue after warning the jurors to ignore what had been said.
At a preliminary hearing in the appeal court, Fraser’s lawyers and the Crown confirmed they were ready and that they expected the appeal to be concluded in a day.