Exeter academic pardoned by United Arab Emirates

Matthew Hedges has been pardoned. Credit: PA Images

Exeter academic Matthew Hedges has received a United Arab Emirates Presidential pardon after he was jailed in the country last week.

Mr Hedges was sentenced to life in prison following accusations by the UAE that he was operating as a spy. Matthew maintained his innocence and said he was conducting academic research into the country's security strategy.

Officials there said the PhD student had admitted to being in MI6, a claim his family has denied, but released him as part of the country's National Daypardons.

Daniela Tejada, Matthew's wife, made appeals to the media and Foreign Office for efforts to be made to free her husband. She says she's "elated" at the news.

The UAE's decision comes after a number of talks with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.