British academic Matthew Hedges has been pardoned by UAE with “gracious clemency” 5 days into a life jail sentence for spying.
31 year old Matthew Hedges has been pardoned by the UAE government after he was jailed for life on the 21st of November.
His wife, Daniela Tejada, tweeted that she had “been brought back to life” after hearing the news, and gave thanks for all the support she’d received.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he could be released “very soon”, saying that the UK government had “never seen any evidence” the spying charges had any basis.
Mr Hunt tweeted that he was glad that Hedges was out, but said that it was a “bittersweet moment as we remember Nazanin & other innocent [people] detained in Iran”.
The UAE issued the pardon as part of a series of their 47th National Day anniversary.
However, a spokesman said Matthew Hedges was “a part-time PhD researcher, a part-time businessman, but he was a 100-percent a full-time secret service operative”.
The UAE said that he was collecting information pertaining to the military, and also sensitive economic data.
Authorities in the UAE have reportedly released a video that shows him admitting he is working undercover for MI6.
Hedges was originally detained at Dubai Airport as he attempted to leave the country on the 5th of May.
Bridges attended Durham University and was in the UAE to research its security strategy.
Durham University have said in a statement that they would be “we will be thrilled to welcome him back to the Durham University community”
Bridges has been released and is currently on his way to the British embassy, according to a family spokesperson.