UAE To Consider Clemency Request For Convicted UK Student - Ambassador To London

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 23rd November, 2018) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is looking into whether to grant clemency to a convicted Ph.D. student from the United Kingdom's Durham University, Matthew Hedges, who has been sentenced to life in prison for espionage, UAE Ambassador to London Sulaiman Hamid Almazroui said on Friday.

Earlier this week, a court in Abu Dhabi declared Hedges guilty of spying on behalf of the UK government and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

"Mr. Hedges' family has made a request for clemency and the government is studying this request," Almazroui told the Sky news broadcaster.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Wednesday that Hedges' verdict would affect the bilateral relations but promised that London would continue to do everything possible to support its citizen.

Hedges, 31, was arrested at Dubai airport in May as he tried to leave the country after a study trip. The student reportedly came to the UAE to gather information for his research on the nation's security policy following the Arab Spring. On October 15, the UAE attorney general confirmed Hedges had been charged with spying on behalf of a foreign state.