The UAE has issued a presidential pardon for the British scholar Matthew Hedges with immediate effect.

Hedges was pardoned as part of the UAE’s national day clemency, state media reported on Monday.

The scholar would be permitted to leave the UAE “once formalities are completed”, according to the Emirati WAM news agency.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anwar Gargash said: “His Highness the President’s gracious clemency in the customary National Day pardons allows us to return our focus to the underlying fundamental strength of the UAE/UK bi-lateral relationship and its importance to the international community.

“It was always a UAE hope that this matter would be resolved through the common channels of our longstanding partnership. This was a straightforward matter that became unnecessarily complex despite the UAE’s best efforts,” according to WAM.

More to follow…

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