An appeal hearing in the Robert Pickton murder case is set to begin in Vancouver today.

The hearing is set to last nine days, during which time the Crown is expected to ask that Pickton be convicted of first-degree murder, while the defence will likely ask for a new trial.

The former Coquitlam pig farmer was found guilty in 2007 of second-degree murder in the deaths of six women from the Downtown Eastside.

Pickton has been charged with another 20 counts of murder in similar cases, but if the first six convictions are upheld, plans for a second trial will be dropped.