The 61-year-old British expat appeared before Dubai Court of First Instance on Wednesday, where he denied the premeditated killing which happened on July 10, 2017.
Dubai prosecutors said he battered his wife’s forehead with the hammer twice.
And forensic experts had previously confirmed that the cause of death was blows to the head by a hard object.
Matthew, who appeared in court on Wednesday, was reported to have had short hair and lost “significant weight.” He had worked in the Gulf region as a journalist since the 1980s and was editor at Gulf News from 1995 to 2005.
At the time of the incident he was reported to have confessed to police to the killing, but on Wednesday when read the charges he responded: “Not guilty.”
It was previously reported that he and his wife had been suffering marital difficulties.
Matthew was a well-known and respected journalist in Dubai and the wider region. News of the death of his wife and his arrest sent shockwaves across the media industry.
The case has been adjourned until Oct. 25, 2017.