Page last updated at 11:38 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 12:38 UK

'Milkshake murderer' appeals case

Nancy Kissel, August 2005
Nancy Kissel says she acted in self-defence

An American woman convicted of murdering her banker husband in Hong Kong after lacing his milkshake with a date-rape drug has begun an appeal.

Nancy Kissel was given a life sentence in 2005 for murdering senior Merril Lynch banker Robert Kissel in their luxury apartment two years earlier.

She is appealing on the grounds that she was provoked by her husband and killed him in self-defence.

The appeal, in the Hong Kong High Court, is due to last eight days.

Correspondents described Nancy Kissel, wearing spectacles and dressed in black, as appearing fragile as she entered court.

The original case heard that after lacing her husband's drink, Kissel cracked his skull five times with a metal ornament.


Prosecutors said she later used workmen to remove the body, which she had wrapped in a carpet.

The court also heard that Nancy Kissel had had an affair with a repair man at the couple's holiday home in the US state of Vermont.

Robert Kissel had found out about the relationship and planned to seek a divorce not long before she killed him, prosecutors said.

There has been a degree of unfairness that impaired the safety of the verdict
Gerard McCoy
Defence lawyer

The seven jurors reached a unanimous verdict on what has been dubbed the "milkshake murder"

But Nancy Kissel's lawyer, Gerard McCoy, said the jurors had been misdirected by the judge, who prevented them from considering a verdict of self-defence.

"There has been a degree of unfairness that impaired the safety of the verdict," said Mr McCoy.

Kissel said she had killed her husband in self-defence because he threatened her with a baseball bat.

He was, according to her account, a violent cocaine addict who frequently forced her to have sex.

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