The man, 35, could face prosecution in his native Afghanistan

A man who allegedly strangled his wife and two daughters to death before fleeing the country is unlikely to be extradited back to the UAE to face trial. Legal experts said the suspect, from Afghanistan, would be prosecuted in his home country once police in the Emirates had completed their investigation.

Officers launched a search for the man on December 27 after his spouse, 32, and two children, 13 and 16, were found dead at their home in Ajman.

A report on the incident by UAE authorities is expected to be shared with Afghan police in due course.

The alleged murder is understood to have happened on the ninth floor of a residential block in the Rashidiya area of the city on December 26.

The mother of the dead woman raised the alarm after repeated calls to her daughter went unanswered.

Officers forced open the door of the apartment and found the three family members strangled, with pieces of cloth still around their necks.

The couple's third daughter, 3, was found alive in another room while suspect, 35, is thought to have left their only son, 7, at the child's grandparents following the attack.

Officers said all three victims showed signs they had struggled. The suspected killer, identified only as M A, flew out of the country from Sharjah International Airport.

"According to legal procedures in relation to the extradition of convicts and defendants, a country has the right to refrain from sending its citizen to be prosecuted in a different country," said Dr Hassan Elhais, a lawyer with Al Rowaad Advocates.

"But the defendant will face charges in his home country based on investigations carried out by the authorities in the UAE.

"He will be prosecuted on three counts of premeditated murder according to his country's laws."

Brig Abdullah Al Hamrani, deputy chief of Ajman police, said the man had suffered a psychological breakdown in the past, according to the wife's parents.

"They also said the couple had marital problems, which left the husband bitter and hateful," he said.

One tenant in the same building as the family, said: "It was shocking news, I saw him from time to time and he seemed fine to me."

"It's a tragedy," said another. "I keep thinking of the kids when I saw them in the mornings all heading to school together."