A British academic has been sentenced to life in prison for spying in the United Arab Emirates, according to a family spokeswoman.
Matthew Hedges, 31, and a specialist in Middle Eastern studies at Durham University in England, was arrested on May 5 by UAE officials when he was leaving Dubai airport after a research trip. He had previously been held in solitary confinement for almost six months on spying allegations, but was released on bail last month.
A spokeswoman for the Hedges family said that Hedges had been sentenced to “life in prison following a five-minute hearing in which he had no legal representation.”
Hedges’ wife Daniela Tejada — who was present during the hearing — said she was in “complete shock” and that her husband was “shaking when he heard the verdict.”
“This whole case has been handled appallingly from the very beginning with no one taking Matthew’s case seriously,” Tejada said. Read more