Northern Constabulary failed to treat the death of Kevin Mcleod, 24, in Wick as murder, despite an instruction from the local prosecutor.
Now Dame Elish, who is carrying out a review of police complaints handling on behalf of the Scottish Government, is set to meet Mr Mcleod’s parents as they continue to fight for justice for their son.
Mr Mcleod’s body was recovered from Wick harbour on 9 February, 1997 after a night out with friends.
In 2017 Police Scotland made an “unreserved apology” for “serious failings” in the initial investigation by Northern Constabulary, including a decision not to investigate the death as murder despite being instructed to do so by the local procurator fiscal.
Mr Mcleod’s parents, June and Hugh, have previously called for an independent inquiry into why Northern Constabulary ignored the direction from prosecutors.
They believe Mr Mcleod, an electrician, had massive internal injuries consistent with being kicked several hours prior to his drowning.
They wrote to Dame Elish, Scotland’s former chief prosecutor, last year amid anger at delays in responding to concerns about how their case has been handled.
They also want the former lord advocate to look at whether complaints against senior officers could continue to be investigated even after they leave the force.
In a statement released on their behalf, Mr Mcleod’s parents said: “The family welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss our experience with Dame Elish regarding her independent review. The issue of police officers retiring with their pension intact while under investigation is totally unacceptable and is unfair to those who lodged the complaint. The regulations short-change everyone.
“We need to see police justice done, and sincerely hope that Elish Angiolini’s review brings about some much-needed changes to the regime as when it comes to the customs and practices of policing in Scotland...”
A Police Scotland investigation of the case was last year passed to the Crown Office, where the Criminal Allegations Against Police Division (CAAPD) is currently carrying out its own inquiries.