Paphos wife-killing trial delayed again

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A Paphos court hearing for a British man accused of killing his terminally ill wife has been adjourned again until next week following a prosecution request, his defence team said Tuesday.

David Hunter, 75, had faced a murder charge in last year’s death of his wife, Janice, although his defence lawyers had asked the attorney-general to reduce the charges to assisted suicide and have changed his plea to manslaughter.

His defence lawyers argued that Hunter acted on his wife’s wishes, whom it says was ill with terminal blood cancer.

A hearing had been set in Paphos for Tuesday after being adjourned on 5 December.

But the case was adjourned again, with a new date set for 20 December, said Michael Polak of Justice Abroad, a group that defends Britons facing legal difficulties in foreign countries.

“We really hope the case will go ahead then,” Polak said after the adjournment.

“We changed the plea to manslaughter, and the court can consider their sentences in regard to David.

“We thought that was all going to happen today, but we’re really hoping that this will happen next week.”

Polak said the delay was granted so the prosecution could discuss the case with the attorney general.

“We hope that when the matter next comes back before the Court on 20 December, we can proceed with the change of plea, the agreed facts, and mitigation.”

Polak said they would be arguing for a suspended sentence, as Hunter has already spent a year in prison.

Hunter’s wife, 74, died in December 2021 at the couple’s retirement home in Paphos, where many of the island’s up to 60,000 British expatriates live.

The details of how she died have not been made public.

Polak had said Janice was on heavy medication for a type of terminal blood cancer.

British media had quoted Hunter’s daughter, Lesley, as saying that her mother had “begged him for a long time (to assist her death) and was very clear about what she wanted.”

Although manslaughter carries a maximum life sentence in Cyprus, it is unlikely Hunter will receive a long prison term, State Prosecutor Andreas Hadjikyrou said last week.

He added that the prosecution wouldn’t object to the Briton serving any prison sentence in the UK. (source AP)