Dubai courts 101
The main facade of Dubai Courts building Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Francis Matthew, the Dubai-based British journalist, accused of killing his wife with a hammer in a July 2017 domestic dispute, failed to show in court on Wednesday.

The appeal court has delayed his hearing until October 23 and his defence lawyer Ali Al Shamsi refused to talk to press.

The British press had speculated that he would be released on Wednesday after serving just two years, on the grounds of provocation by his wife.

In March 2018, a lower court sentenced Matthew to ten years in jail for premeditated murder, following an assault that led to death of his wife at the couple’s villa in Umm Suqeim, in July 2017.

In October 2018, the Dubai Appeal Court overturned the 10-year imprisonment against Matthew, and increased his punishment to 15 years in jail.

Later in December 2018, Dubai’s highest court overturned the British editor’s 15-year sentence and ordered a fresh trial.

Matthew’s lawyer Al Shamsi had been seeking leniency after the demise of the victim’s father meant the family’s private right had been waived.

In UAE law the family of the victim has a right not to grant leniency. Matthew’s son had already waived his right and the victim’s father was the only remaining person who could have objected to an early release.