Matthew Hedges, the British PhD student sentenced to life in jail for spying for the UK govt is to be released immediately after being being given a presidential pardoned by the UAE, who say he confessed to being a member of MI6.
Hedges was sentenced to life in prison last week on spying charges in a court in Abu Dhabi, in the Emirates. UAE officials have reportedly released a video showing the 31 year-old doctoral student “admitting he’s a member of MI6”, according to the Mirror.
The Durham university student from Devon in southwest England, was arrested in the UAE on May 5, after conducting a two-week research project for his doctoral thesis.
Matthew’s wife Daniela Tejeda, who has maintained that her husband denies all spying charges said: “We welcome news of the presidential pardon and cannot wait to have Matt back home.”
Dr. Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said: “His Highness the President’s gracious clemency in the customary National Day pardons allows us to return our focus to the underlying fundamental strength of the UAE/UK bi-lateral relationship and its importance to the international community.
“It was always a UAE hope that this matter would be resolved through the common channels of our longstanding partnership. This was a straightforward matter that became unnecessarily complex despite the UAE’s best efforts,” according to WAM.
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