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Briton Matthew Hedges jailed for life on UAE spy charge

November 21, 2018 4:03 pm

A British PhD student has been sentenced to life in prison in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for spying.

Matthew Hedges, 31, of Durham University, has said he is innocent, and that he had been researching the country’s security strategy.

Prosecutors say he admitted the charges in an Abu Dhabi court, which found him guilty of “spying for or on behalf of” the UK government.

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The PM said the UK was urgently seeking talks with the Emirati government.

Theresa May said Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt was “seeking a call with Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed”.

Mr Hunt said he was “deeply shocked and disappointed” by the verdict.

He said he had raised the case with the “highest levels of the UAE government”, adding the verdict was “not what we expect from a friend and trusted partner of the United Kingdom, and runs contrary to earlier assurances”.

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