The Foreign Secretary is leading efforts to apply diplomatic pressure on the United Arab Emirates to release 31-year-old PhD student Matthew Hedges, who could face a life behind bars after being convicted of espionage. On Thursday Jeremy Hunt said he had a “constructive conversation” with his opposite number, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed, tweeting: “I believe & trust he’s working hard to resolve the situation asap.” The government of the UAE stressed “compelling and powerful” evidence was shown in support of prosecuting Durham University academic Matthew Hedges for spying amid an outcry in the UK over his sentencing to life imprisonment. A law chief in the Gulf federation said the case had been “thoroughly investigated” and warned the government “does not attempt to interfere in court cases”. According to the BBC the UAE’s ambassador in London, Sulaiman Almazroui, will issue a statement on Friday morning that could give an update on the case. After returning to the UK on Thursday, Mr Hedges’ wife, Daniela Tejada, met with Mr Hunt and later said she had been assured that UK officials are doing “everything in their power” to bring her husband home.< However a frank statement by Abdulla Al Naqbi, head of the… Read full this story
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