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Briton accused of killing terminally-ill wife has trial delayed

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A 74-year-old Briton accused of murdering his terminally ill wife had his Cyprus trial adjourned until June after his defence lawyers said they did not have access to forensic evidence.

His defence lawyers called for an adjournment to proceedings as they had not received all the evidence submitted to the court, such as the medical examiner’s forensic report.

British pensioner David Hunter is on trial for premeditated murder after the prosecution rejected a request by his defence lawyers to lower the charge to assisted suicide.

UK-based Justice Abroad is representing the Briton, said the Attorney General of Cyprus had rejected their request to drop the murder charge.

Michael Polak of Justice Abroad said in a statement: “We have been informed by the prosecution that these submissions have been rejected, but no reason was given.”

He added: “We will continue to request that the prosecution take the principled decision so that we can bring David back home to his daughter in the United Kingdom as soon as possible.”

Paphos criminal court on Monday postponed Hunter’s trial until 16 June.

Due to the seriousness of the charges – which carry a life sentence – the court ruled the Briton should remain in prison until his next hearing.

He has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife.

It is believed to be the first euthanasia case in Cyprus.

It comes among moves in the Cypriot parliament to legalise euthanasia against fierce opposition by Cyprus’ influential Orthodox Church.

Hunter’s daughter Lesley has launched a Crowd Justice campaign to fund the defence of her father.

David Hunter is a former miner from Northumberland, England, who retired to Cyprus with his wife, Janice.

They had been together for 56 years and were teenage sweethearts.

Janice was terminally ill and suffering from blood cancer.

“This was a terminal disease that had taken the life of her sister, and the pain she was under was getting worse,” said Justice Abroad.

“When she died in their flat In Paphos in December 2021, David Hunter was left stricken with grief, and he tried to end his own life.”

According to Paphos police, the Briton “confessed to killing his 75-year-old wife by blocking her nose and mouth with his hands”.

He told police she was ill with leukaemia and “could not see her suffer anymore”.