Pardoned British ‘Spy’ Arrives Back In London

Man Arrested For Espionage Charges In The UAE Matthew Hedges, the British man who was jailed for allegedly spying in the UAE, has landed back in London after receiving...

Man Arrested For Espionage Charges In The UAE

Matthew Hedges, the British man who was jailed for allegedly spying in the UAE, has landed back in London after receiving a presidential pardon.

The 31-year-old academic arrived at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday morning – a day after he was freed by the United Arab Emirates.

In a statement, he thanked those involved in securing his release, including his wife Daniela Tejada.

He said: “I don’t know where to begin with thanking people for securing my release. I have not seen or read much of what has been written over the past few days but Dani tells me the support has been incredible. Thank you so much to the British Embassy and the FCO for their efforts in ensuring I arrived safely back home.

“I could not have done this without Daniela, I hear her face is everywhere! She is so brave and strong, seeing her and my family after this ordeal is the best thing that could have happened. I thank you all once again, this is very surreal.”

Mr Hedges had been sentenced to life in prison by the UAE last week, and on Monday, the state released a video of him purportedly confessing to being a member of MI6.

He was said to have been in an increasingly fragile mental state.

The UK has denied that he was a member of the intelligence services and welcomed his pardon.

Mr Hedges said he was in the UAE as part of his PhD studies, but prosecutors there maintain he was a “100% a full-time secret service operative”.

The UAE also claimed it had evidence that he was collecting sensitive economic data and information on its military that went “far beyond” academic research.

Mr Hedges was released alongside 784 other prisoners as part of the UAE’s 47th National Day, which will be marked this weekend.

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