Copies of Hope, Smart murder book pulled from shelves

Author Ian Wishart at the book's launch today (3 News)
Author Ian Wishart at the book's launch today (3 News)

Some Whitcoulls stores are pulling the latest book about the Sounds murders, Elementary: The Explosive File On Scott Watson And The Disappearance Of Ben & Olivia by Ian Wishart, from shelves following threats of legal action from Keith Hunter, a member of the Maritime Research Group.

Mr Hunter was a contributor to a report done by the group, which raised questions about the guilt of Scott Watson - the man jailed for killing Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. 

Mr Wishart has told 3 News Mr Hunter made a complaint to Whitcoulls about some of the contents of the book.

Mr Hunter has confirmed he will sue Mr Wishart if he finds comments made about him on radio this morning are repeated in the book.

Mr Wishart thinks Mr Hunter has jumped the gun. He said: "This is not a book is not a betrayal of Scott Watson, this book is about how Scott Watson betrayed New Zealanders."

Watson was jailed for the double murders in 1999, but has always maintained his innocence.

And Mr Wishart believed him, even co-authoring a book about it -- until he read the police file on the case three months ago.

"I didn't want to retract, but based on the evidence I've found I can come to no other conclusion," said Wishart.

Some Whitcoulls stores are still selling the book, but others contacted by 3 News say they've pulled it from shelves for what they term a "publishing issue".

3 News