Matthew Hedges: The flimsy case against the British academic given a life sentence for ‘spying’ in UAE

Matthew Hedges, the British academic accused by the UAE of spying for MI6, was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday after a five-minute cloak and dagger trial.

A representative of the family said his lawyer was not present and he had been made to sign a document written in Arabic they say turned out to be a confession.

According to friends and colleagues, 31-year-old Mr Hedges, who was studying for a PhD at Durham University, knew the region well and travelled in and out of it often.

He is said to have lived there on and off since he was nine years old, although is not thought to have learned Arabic.

“Matt is my friend and one of the sharpest young scholars I have ever met. He’s no spy,”…

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