close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

World

AFP
November 26, 2018

Britain ´grateful´ to UAE for pardoning academic: minister

World

AFP
Mon, Nov, 18

LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt expressed gratitude to the UAE on Monday for pardoning a British academic sentenced to life in prison on spying charges, as the Briton´s wife expressed her joy at the news.

"Fantastic news about Matthew Hedges. Although we didn´t agree with charges we are grateful to UAE govt for resolving issue speedily," Hunt said on Twitter.

Hedges´s wife Daniela Tejada, who last saw him on the day he was sentenced last week, told BBC radio: "We´re absolutely elated at the news".

Asked about the United Arab Emirates´ repeated accusation that Hedges was a spy, Tejada said: "In my heart, I know that he isn´t".

But she added: "If that´s what it takes for him to be back, I welcome the news".

Hunt said on BBC radio of the spying charges: "We have never seen any evidence that they are true".

Hunt said he now expected Hedges to be released "very soon indeed", adding that it was a "bittersweet moment" because of other Britons detained unjustly around the world.

Hedges, a 31-year-old researcher at Durham University, was detained in Dubai on May 5 while researching the UAE´s foreign and internal security policies after the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011.

After his sentencing, Hedges´s family had submitted a plea for clemency to UAE authorities.

Britain considers the UAE to be a strategic Middle East ally and supplies the country with arms.