The federal justice minister says it is up to the Nova Scotia government to initiate a public inquiry into the case of a Halifax man who was wrongfully convicted of murdering his former girlfriend.

Glen Assoun was convicted in 1999 of the knifing murder of Brenda Way four years earlier.

The 63-year-old man spent almost 17 years in prison and over four years on bail before being exonerated earlier this year.

Justice Minister David Lametti said today in Halifax that he believes the provincial government has the necessary jurisdiction to probe the miscarriage of justice, and the federal government would co-operate in any inquiry the province decides to have.

The federal NDP and Green party leaders have called on Ottawa to order an independent review of the case to determine how the wrongful conviction occurred.

The leaders have said an independent probe is needed to determine why the RCMP destroyed potential evidence prepared by an analyst in an RCMP unit looking at the behaviour of serial offenders.

Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey has already said he will review the matter and "consider next steps in consultation with my federal colleagues."

A federal Justice Department report made public on July 12 revealed that the RCMP erased and disposed of Moore's theories of other suspects — including multiple murderer Michael McGray — in the Brenda Way case.

Moore built his case using conventional investigative techniques, along with the Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System, or ViCLAS — a national database that makes links between cases based on the behaviour of violent murderers like McGray.

The federal report that helped exonerate Assoun also says McGray, who was convicted of seven murders, has denied killing Way, saying in police interviews that he wouldn't make an innocent man spend time in a federal prison.