An academic jailed for UAE spying in 2018 is launching legal proceedings against four senior Emirati officials involved in his case.
A British scholar who was jailed for espionage by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched civil proceedings in a UK court against four senior Emirati officials, according to its lawyers.
The UAE arrested Matthew Hedges in May 2018 and sentenced him to life imprisonment more than six months later after showing a video allegedly showing him confessing to being a member of the British spy agency and searching for the military systems that the Gulf State was buying.
After having been granted a presidential pardon and returng in the United Kingdom at the end of November 2018, Hedges UAE investigators to subject him to psychological torture and to force him to make a false confession. UAE officials at the time denied the allegations and described the Durham University doctoral student as “a part-time scholar, businessman and full-time spy.”
A statement from Carter-Ruck Solicitors on Wednesday said Hedges is seeking damages against the four Emirati officials for assault, false imprisonment and willful infliction of psychiatric injuries allegedly taking place during his detention in Abu Dhabi.
He identified the defendants as adviser Saqr Saif Al Naqbi, who at the time was chief of the State Security Prosecutor’s Office in Abu Dhabi; Major-General Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, who was the Abu Dhabi Police Commander-in-Chief; Major General Ahmed Naser Ahmed Alrais Al Raisi, Inspector General at the Ministry of the Interior; and Ali Mohammed Hamad Hammad Al Shamsi, a senior intelligence official in the UAE.
“On May 5, 2018, I was detained and tortured in the UAE. Three years later, I’m still waiting for truth and justice, ”Hedges said in the statement.
“The UAE authorities have refused to respond to the complaint submitted to them through the UK Foreign Office. It is clear that they have no interest in finding out who is responsible for my abuse. This complete lack of repair prolonged my trauma and made it very difficult to continue with my life.
There was no immediate comment from the UAE authorities.