After 18 years behind bars, convicted double-murderer Scott Watson has broken his silence.
Earlier this year Watson spoke with journalist Mike White, and he maintains he never killed or even met Olivia Hope and Ben Smart.
After a High Court ruling granted him the interview, Wellington-based journalist Mr White spent seven hours at Rolleston Prison talking to the convicted double-murderer.
"Scott Watson's been this figure in everyone's imagination, yet we've never heard from the man right at the centre of this murder investigation. So obviously when Scott Watson invited me to speak to him I thought it would be a good idea.”
White spoke to Paul Henry, saying he has serious concerns about the conviction.
He says he started out believing Watson was guilty but as he got to know the case he says it does not meet the criteria for being beyond reasonable doubt.
In North and South magazine, Watson discusses his conviction for murdering the Blenheim pair in the Marlborough Sounds on New Year's Day, 1998.
Watson maintains his innocence and dismisses the police's key evidence against him. He suggests two of Olivia Hope's blond hairs found on a blanket in his boat were planted, says the painting of his boat shortly after the pair's disappearance was long planned and says he holds no animosity towards Guy Wallace – a crucial prosecution witness who later retracted his story.
Mr White has covered the case from the outset.
"Nothing Scott Watson has said to me during our interviews has made me feel any better about the fact he is in prison. If anything it's confirmed my doubts and unease about the conviction."
Watson remains in Rolleston Prison after his first parole bid was rejected earlier this year.