A court in the United Arab Emirates sentenced to life imprisonment a British University researcher for spying on the government of the United Kingdom. It is reported by Reuters.
Hearing in the case of Matthew Hedges lasted less than five minutes. The man’s lawyer was absent. The British did not admit his guilt. Relatives of the man said that as evidence, the prosecution presented the notes from his dissertation research.
It is noted that the court decided to confiscate all gadgets Briton and his research work. He can appeal the verdict within 30 days. Local media point out that a life sentence for a citizen of another country in the UAE means that the convict will spend a maximum of 25 years in prison, and then he will be deported.
The verdict of the court responded to the British authorities. “We are deeply disappointed and concerned about today’s verdict,” said Prime Minister Theresa May. According to foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, the verdict is not what London “expects from a friend and trusted partner, and contradicts previous assurances.” Politicians pointed out that they raise this issue at the highest levels and it will have consequences for bilateral relations.
31-year-old Hedges is an employee of Durham University. In the UAE, the man spent two weeks, during which he collected material for his research. He was arrested at Dubai airport on May 5 when he was about to return home. This happened after a certain Emirate told police that the British tried to find out from him confidential information.
Law enforcement said hedges confessed to the crime. At the same time, according to the family, the man signed some statements in Arabic, which he did not understand. The British spent five months in solitary confinement, in October he was released on bail. He reported that his physical and mental health had deteriorated in detention