Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Matthew Hedges’ wife ‘hopeful’ for his freedom

The wife of jailed British academic Matthew Hedges has told Sky News she is “hopeful” a plea for clemency to..

By admin , in England , at November 23, 2018

The wife of jailed British academic Matthew Hedges has told Sky News she is "hopeful" a plea for clemency to the United Arab Emirates will secure his release.

However, Daniela Tejada said she was "disappointed" that the regime claimed there had been "due process" in the handling of her husband's case, which she argued had been flawed.

She was speaking after the nation's ambassador to the UK Sulaiman Almazroui revealed it was considering an appeal from Mr Hedges' family as he expressed the hope that an "amicable solution" could be reached.

However, he insisted the conviction of the 31-year-old for spying in the UAE was not the result of a show trial and argued the evidence in the case had been "compelling".

Image: Matthew Hedges and his wife Daniela Tejada, who awaits the outcome of the appeal

The life sentence handed down to the PhD student has provoked a public outcry, with diplomatic efforts to secure his release being led by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Ms Tejada said: "I am very hopeful that the UAE rulers will take into consideration Matt's family and my plea for his freedom.

"I hope that they will see it in their hearts that Matt's a good man with an incredibly good nature that deserves to be free."

But the Durham University researcher's wife added: "I am disappointed at the fact that the UAE insists that there has been due process where it evidently failed."

Daniela Tejada, wife of British academic Matthew Hedges 0:57
Video: Hedges wife: 'This is not a fight I can win alone'

She pointed to Mr Hedges being held in solitary confinement with no access to legal advice and limited consular support.

She has stressed her husband's innocence and said the Middle East expert, who was finishing his thesis, was the victim of a "misunderstanding" while researching.

Speaking earlier in London, Mr Almazroui said: "Matthew Hedges was not convicted after a five-minute show trial, as some have reported.

"Over the course of one month, three judges evaluated compelling evidence in three hearings."

She added: "They reached their conclusions after a full and proper process. This was an extremely serious case.

"We live in a dangerous neighbourhood and national security must be a top priority.

"Mr Hedges' family have made a request for clemency and the government is studying that request."

Matthew Hedges, 31, was detained at Dubai Airport on 5 May and accused of spying in the UAE
Image: The PhD student was detained at Dubai Airport on 5 May
Matthew Hedges and his wife Daniela Tejada
Image: Mr Hedges' wife says he is the victim of a 'misunderstanding'

Stressing the two nations' close ties, he added: "Because of the strength of that relationship we are hopeful that an amicable solution can be reached."

Mr Hunt has said he had seen "absolutely no evidence" to support claims Mr Hedges was spying when he visited Dubai earlier this year.

The cabinet minister has warned of "serious diplomatic consequences" if he is not freed.

More from Matthew Hedges

Mr Hedges, originally from Exeter, was arrested at Dubai Airport as he tried to leave the country on 5 May.

Professor Stuart Corbridge, vice-chancellor of Durham University, said there is "no reason to believe that Matt was conducting anything other than legitimate academic research".

Original Article


Sky News



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