UAE sentences British student to life in prison for spying

DUBAI- The Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeals on Wednesday sentenced British student Matthew Hedges to life in jail on charges that he was spying for Britain, according to Emirates News Agency (WAM).

The defendant appeared before court in the presence of representatives from the British embassy, the report cited Attorney General Hamad Saif Al Shamsi as saying.

Al Shamsi added that the sentence is not final and according to UAE laws the suspect has the right to appeal before the Federal Supreme Court for retrial.

Matthew Hedges, a 31-year-old PhD student at Durham University, was arrested at Dubai airport on May 5 and referred in October to trial by the UAE attorney general on charges of “spying for a foreign state in an act that jeopardizes the military, economic and political position of the UAE.”

“The accused came to the UAE under the guise of being an academic researcher to secure confidential information to potentially pass to a foreign country,” Al Shamsi said.

Source: Ghana News Agency