Lawyers for a Ukrainian widow have told the High Court it is “nonsense” to suggest she was involved in the death of her wealthy British husband “for the money”.
Ganna Ziuzina, 38, wants a ruling that she was not involved in the death of Barry Pring in February 2008.
He died in a hit-and-run in Kiev on their first wedding anniversary.
His family believes his death was deliberate and Ms Ziuzina was involved.
Mr Pring’s estate is worth about £250,000.
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Computer technology entrepreneur Mr Pring from Devon died aged 47 without making a will, the court heard.
The family froze his estate to stop his wife getting a share of the cash, claiming she had murdered him in a contract killing.
Ms Ziuzina’s counsel, John McLinden QC, said: “She wants me to say publicly that the family are completely wrong in their belief and sight has been lost that she too has been gravely affected by this tragedy.”
The judge, Deputy Master Stephen Lloyd, said the family’s position was that they “simply want justice for Barry”.
If their belief that he was killed was proved, the forfeiture rule – which stops a person who has unlawfully killed another from benefiting from the death – would “unquestionably” apply, he added.
He said that it was time “for the brake to come off” the determination of the forfeiture issue so it could move forward.
Any hearing is unlikely before autumn 2018, the court was told.
Ms Ziuzina, who lives in Marbella and has changed her name by deed poll to Julianna Moore, was not in court in London.
Mr McLinden said: “In order to defend the murder allegation, she was forced to engage with the forfeiture rule which had been raised against her.
“If she had not, she would have been labelled a murderer.
“To suggest she is in this for the money, as opposed to defending the murder allegation against her, is a nonsense.”
The Pring family said in a statement after the case that they were “100% focused and committed in bringing Barry’s murderer or murderers to justice”.
“We all miss Barry terribly, he was much loved and will always be in our thoughts.”