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Wed 24 Oct 2018 02:29 PM

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UAE issues statement on Brit spy suspect Matthew Hedges

Welfare status review says treatment of Matthew Hedges is 'entirely in keeping with obligations under UAE Law and international norms'

UAE issues statement on Brit spy suspect Matthew Hedges
Matthew Hedges, pictured with his wife Daniela Tejada.

The UAE on Wednesday said it has carried out a welfare status on Matthew Hedges, the British national charged with spying.

Mohammed Obaid Al Zaabi, director of the Department of the Foreign Nationals Affairs Department, of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, refuted claims made in widespread media reporting and speculation about the case.

Matthew Hedges, a PhD student at Durham University, was arrested on May 5 in Dubai and has been charged with spying. He was detained at Dubai Airport as he was leaving the country following a research trip.

In a statement carried by state news agency WAM, the welfare review said that since his arrest, Hedges has been provided with constant medical and psychological care.

It said that after his initial arrest and prior to trial proceeding, Hedges’ family members and embassy staff were given access to him on several occasions in accordance with UAE laws and regulations.

The review added that with the completion of the investigation process and since the commencement of the trial, as per UAE law, the conditions of Hedges remand have been reduced.

It also said Hedges has the ongoing facility to contact family, Embassy and Consular staff and his legal counsel by phone, has been provided with books and reading material of his choice while his lawyer and his immediate family have the ongoing ability to access Hedges in keeping with the protocols of the trial process.

Since the commencement of the trial, Hedges has been accommodated in a lower security remand centre.

"The treatment of Mr Hedges is entirely in keeping with obligations under UAE Law and international norms and Mr Hedges’ welfare has been appropriately supported and maintained throughout the process," the statement on WAM added.