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World

AFP
November 22, 2018

UAE hopes for ´amicable solution´ to jailed Briton case

World

AFP
Thu, Nov, 18

Dubai-The United Arab Emirates hopes to find an "amicable solution" to the case of a British academic sentenced to life in jail for spying, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

"The UAE is determined to protect its important strategic relationship with a key ally," the ministry said in a statement, a day after PhD student Matthew Hedges was sentenced.

"Officials from both countries have discussed the matter regularly over recent months.

"Both sides hope to find an amicable solution to the Matthew Hedges case."

The ministry said that there was "compelling and powerful evidence" against the 31-year-old, who was arrested at Dubai airport on May 5.

"That included information extracted from his personal electronic devices by expert forensic analysis techniques; evidence provided by UAE intelligence agencies; witness testaments and Mr Hedges´ own confession," said the statement.

Hedges was researching the UAE´s foreign and internal security policies after the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011, studies that Britain insisted were entirely innocuous.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Wednesday he was "deeply shocked" by the court´s decision and urged the UAE to reconsider.