Witnesses to be heard in expat’s murder case
Defence lawyer to grill policemen, gardener and forensic examiner in case of journalist who allegedly killed wife
Dubai: A court will start hearing statements of prosecution witnesses next month in the case of a British journalist who is accused of intentionally killing his wife with a hammer in July.
When the 61-year-old suspect, Francis Mathew, a former Gulf News staff member, appeared before the Dubai Court of First Instance last month, he pleaded not guilty to intentionally killing his wife by hitting her forehead twice with a hammer following a heated argument over financial issues. The incident allegedly happened around 7am on July 4 at the British couple’s villa in Umm Suqeim.
Mathew’s lawyer, Ali Abdullah Al Shamsi, asked presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi to adjourn the case to cross-examine all witnesses produced by the prosecution in the case.
Al Shamsi notified the court that he had reviewed the case and requested the court to summon the five police officers, the forensic examiner and a gardener to hear their statements on November 26.
The lawyer also produced in court a written request to release the suspect’s two cars from impoundment.
According to the accusation sheet, prosecutors have asked the court to award death sentence to the suspect as per Article 332 of the UAE Penal Code.
Prosecutors said the Briton intentionally murdered his wife by striking her with the hammer following a heated and intense argument at the couple’s house in Umm Suqeim.
Dubai Police’s forensic examiner said the victim sustained fractures and bled from the head.
A lieutenant-colonel told prosecutors that police were notified about the incident at 5.45pm when an ambulance was dispatched to the location and onsite investigation revealed that a murder had taken place in the villa.
The lieutenant-colonel said: “The suspect was present at the crime scene when we arrived. He claimed that he left for work at 8am and when he returned home at 5pm, he found her dead on bed. Onsite inspection found a bloodstain in the corridor and another one at the door of the bedroom where the victim’s body was found partly undressed. It was quite clear that the place had been turned upside down purposely. The husband was taken in for questioning as he was the primary suspect. Initially, he denied his involvement but further investigation revealed that he had killed her.”