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Tuesday, Feb 20, 2024

Man Accused Of Killing Ill Wife In Cyprus's 1st Case Involving Euthanasia

Man Accused Of Killing Ill Wife In Cyprus's 1st Case Involving Euthanasia

In a trial thought to be the Mediterranean island's first involving euthanasia, Briton David Hunter faced a maximum 25-year prison term if found guilty of premeditated murder.
A British pensioner in Cyprus accused of murdering his terminally ill wife will plead guilty to lesser manslaughter charges to avoid a life sentence, his lawyers said Friday.

In a trial thought to be the Mediterranean island's first involving euthanasia, Briton David Hunter faced a maximum 25-year prison term if found guilty of premeditated murder.

He appeared before the Paphos criminal court on Friday, where judges were told a deal had been reached to have him plead guilty to manslaughter when the court reconvenes next month.

"Mr Hunter will be entering a plea to manslaughter on agreed facts at the next hearing on December 5," defence lawyer Michael Polak told reporters.

"We are very pleased that the murder charge is no longer on the table as our objective all along has been to get David out of prison and back home as soon as possible."

The 75-year-old former miner has spent nearly a year in the custody of Cypriot authorities.

Polak, from UK-based firm Justice Abroad, said he hoped "the court could consider suspending" the eventual sentence, given Hunter's "good character and long and loving relationship with his wife".

Hunter had previously pleaded not guilty to murder, his defence arguing it was a case of assisted suicide.

Hunter and his wife, Janice had lived together for over 50 years.

In December 2021, Janice, who was suffering from advanced leukaemia, allegedly urged her husband to end her life.

Following his arrest, Hunter said he had finally acquiesced to his wife's wishes, smothering her to death in the sitting room of their rented accommodation in Tremithousa, near Paphos, on the island's west coast.

Police found Hunter after he overdosed on prescription pills and alcohol, in an attempt to take his own life.
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