The attorney-general’s decision to appeal 76-year-old David Hunter’s sentence and verdict has caused surprise and anguish in both his defence team and family, as well as the broader public that has published a range of messages slamming the developments.

“We have no idea when the case will go to appeal,” one of his lawyers Michael Polak told the Cyprus Mail on Friday.

A day earlier, the attorney general decided to appeal Hunter’s two-year prison sentence as well as his manslaughter verdict, over the killing of his wife Janice Hunter, who was 74 at the time when he suffocated her to death.

The development was “surprising” Polak said, while Hunter’s daughter Lesley Cawthorne said the family were “devasted” by the news.

Reactions online described the decision as “appalling”, “disgusting” and “horrible”.

The AG’s office said they would not comment on the reasoning behind the appeal as the case was ongoing.

Hunter was in jail since he admitted to killing his wife in December 2021, and was released earlier this month due to time served.

He has always maintained he did it to end her suffering, as she lived with the consequences of MDS – a form of blood cancer.

The appeal means Hunter, a retired miner, may face charges of premeditated murder again, after he was eventually found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

If found guilty of premeditated murder, Hunter faces a life sentence in jail, something which his defence team argued earlier would inevitably mean Hunter would die behind bars.

The AG’s office had ten days to file an appeal – which was submitted on Thursday.

Due process now means the Supreme Court will decide if there is a case, while both the defence and prosecution will present their arguments.

Hunter will still be allowed to travel if he wishes – though he has made clear he wants to stay in Cyprus to be close to his wife’s grave.