Crime

Exeter PhD Student Sentenced in UAE on Charges of Spying Receives Presidential Pardon

 

Matthew Hedges, an Exeter academic has been pardoned after receiving a life sentence in the UAE last week.

UAE’s officials claimed that he had confessed to being in MI6 but his family maintains that he is not, and was simply in the country on a visit to conduct academic research into the nation’s security strategy.

His wife, Daniela Tejada says she is elated at the news of his release and

“The presidential pardon for Matt is the best news we could have received.

“Our six-plus months of nightmare are finally over and to say we are elated is an understatement.

“That he is returning home to me and the rest of his family is much more than I was ever expecting to happen this week. I thank you all for your support.”

The University of Exeter released the following statement: “We are extremely pleased that Matt Hedges has been pardoned. The priority now remains for Matt to return safely home to his family and friends as quickly as possible, and we remain committed to offering and providing every level of support, help and assistance during this time.”

The UAE released Hedges after a series of favourable discussions with Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt who had this to say: “Fantastic news about Matthew Hedges. Although we didn’t agree with charges we are grateful to UAE government for resolving issue speedily. But also a bittersweet moment as we remember Nazanin and other innocent people detained in Iran. Justice won’t be truly done until they too are safely home.”

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