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Dubai journalist who murdered wife 'should be freed' because it is UAE's 'year of tolerance' Open in fullscreen

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Dubai journalist who murdered wife 'should be freed' because it is UAE's 'year of tolerance'

Matthew received 15 years jail time for premeditated murder after striking his wife. [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 November, 2019

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Before the court, Matthew’s legal defence pleaded the court to show him mercy in the name of the country’s Year of Tolerance.

The lawyer of former Gulf News Editor Francis Matthew has asked a Dubai court to reduce his prison sentence to two years for killing his wife.

Before the court, Matthew's legal defence pleaded the court to show him mercy in the name of the country's Year of Tolerance, a campaign by the UAE to "emphasise tolerance as a universal concept".

Matthew received 15 years jail time for premeditated murder after striking his wife in the head with a hammer during an argument regarding his accrued debt of around $270,140 (Dh1 million).

During questioning, he argued that she provoked his violence by calling him a "loser".

Jane's brother, Peter Manning, says authorities in the UAE may pin the blame for the killing on his sister, as women in the country are not allowed to insult their husbands.

"It is grotesque to suggest that Jane insulted Francis and this means she somehow brought about her own death," Manning said earlier this week.

"The truth is that in places like UAE women are subservient, need to be obedient and can be beaten," he added.

Matthew killed his wife of 35-years after they reportedly rowed over their mounting debts, which had reached the region of £200,000 ($240,000).

The former Economist journalist killed with a hammer he had taken from the house's kitchen.

Matthew went to work as normal that day, calling police to the scene only once he had returned home.

He admitted to bludgeoning his wife to death while she lay in bed after having initially claimed that she was attacked by robbers.

Following the death of Matthew's father-in-law in March, the convicted killer's chances for early release dramatically improved.

In the UAE, private law claims can be made by a deceased victim's legal heirs. Jane Matthew had only two legal heirs - her now deceased father and her son. Jane's son, however, had waived his right to pursue legal proceedings.

With all private claims against Matthew now dropped, Emirati authorities may still impose a punishment as a public matter, but with a shorter term.

Matthew is expected to be released and deported from the UAE after his hearing on Wednesday.

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