November 22, 2018 / 3:34 PM / 18 days ago

UAE says academic Hedges treated "fairly", to protect relationship with Britain

DUBAI, Nov 22 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates said on Thursday British academic Matthew Hedges has been treated “fairly”, and it was determined to protect its important and strategic relationship with key ally Britain.

Matthew Hedges was sentenced to life in prison on charges of spying for the British government on Wednesday in a move described as deeply disappointing by Prime Minister Theresa May.

“Matthew Hedges has been treated fairly and according to the constitution of the UAE,” a statement from the Gulf state’s foreign ministry said.

It added Hedges was provided with translators and “it is not true that he was asked to sign documents he did not understand.”

“Officials from both countries have discussed the matter regularly over recent months. Both sides hope to find an amicable solution to the Matthew Hedges case,” the statement said. (Reporting By Aziz El Yaakoubi)

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