The Federal Supreme Court building in Abu Dhabi. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National
The Federal Supreme Court building in Abu Dhabi. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National

British national Matthew Hedges posed as 'academic researcher' to spy on UAE for a foreign state, attorney general says



A British citizen posed as an academic researcher to spy on the UAE, according to the country's most senior law officer.

Matthew Hedges will stand trial later this month following his arrest at Dubai International Airport five months ago.

The 31-year-old is suspected of attempting to procure sensitive information during a trip to the country earlier this year.

On Monday, Attorney General Dr Hamad Al Shamsi said that Mr Hedges spied "on behalf of or for a foreign state", without naming the country.

He also charged that Mr Hedges conducted information while posing as an "academic researcher". Mr Hedges will stand trial at the Court of Appeal's state security division.

The charges against the British national came to light when he appeared in court in Abu Dhabi last week.

Mr Hedges was first reported to prosecutors after an Emirati citizen told them the man had been asking for sensitive information. Prosecutors later said that he had been attempting to secure confidential information to potentially pass to a foreign agency.

On Monday, Dr Al Shamsi said that during questioning, Mr Hedges admitted to the claims against him, which were "identical to evidence and information gained from his own electronic devices and investigations conducted by the UAE’s security agencies".

He went on to say that the accused has been provided a lawyer by the state and has received any medical care he may need.

He also said a family member and embassy staff have been allowed to visit him.

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Read more:

British student accused of spying appears in UAE's security court

Legal process must take its course for Briton accused of spying, Gargash says

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On Friday, Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said that the case had been "extensively discussed with UK colleagues" over the past five months.

He also wrote on Twitter that "unusual and embarrassing revelations about friends and allies" had come to light as a result.

Dr Gargash also said there had been a "reluctance of UK authorities" address the matter through the usual channels.

Mr Hedges is expected in court on October 24.

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Company Profile

Name: Neo Mobility
Started: February 2023
Co-founders: Abhishek Shah and Anish Garg
Based: Dubai
Industry: Logistics
Funding: $10 million
Investors: Delta Corp, Pyse Sustainability Fund, angel investors

The specs

Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cyl turbo
Power: 190hp at 5,200rpm
Torque: 320Nm from 1,800-5,000rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 6.7L/100km
Price: From Dh111,195
On sale: Now

Coming soon

Torno Subito by Massimo Bottura

When the W Dubai – The Palm hotel opens at the end of this year, one of the highlights will be Massimo Bottura’s new restaurant, Torno Subito, which promises “to take guests on a journey back to 1960s Italy”. It is the three Michelinstarred chef’s first venture in Dubai and should be every bit as ambitious as you would expect from the man whose restaurant in Italy, Osteria Francescana, was crowned number one in this year’s list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Akira Back Dubai

Another exciting opening at the W Dubai – The Palm hotel is South Korean chef Akira Back’s new restaurant, which will continue to showcase some of the finest Asian food in the world. Back, whose Seoul restaurant, Dosa, won a Michelin star last year, describes his menu as,  “an innovative Japanese cuisine prepared with a Korean accent”.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

The highly experimental chef, whose dishes are as much about spectacle as taste, opens his first restaurant in Dubai next year. Housed at The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will feature contemporary twists on recipes that date back to the 1300s, including goats’ milk cheesecake. Always remember with a Blumenthal dish: nothing is quite as it seems. 

Where can I submit a sample?

Volunteers can now submit DNA samples at a number of centres across Abu Dhabi. The programme is open to all ages.

Collection centres in Abu Dhabi include:

  • Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC)
  • Biogenix Labs in Masdar City
  • Al Towayya in Al Ain
  • NMC Royal Hospital in Khalifa City
  • Bareen International Hospital
  • NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Ain
  • NMC Royal Medical Centre - Abu Dhabi
  • NMC Royal Women’s Hospital.
ARSENAL IN 1977

Feb 05 Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland

Feb 12 Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal

Feb 15 Middlesbrough 3-0 Arsenal

Feb 19 Arsenal 2-3 West Ham

Feb 26 Middlesbrough 4-1 Arsenal (FA Cup)

Mar 01 Everton 2-1 Arsenal

Mar 05  Arsenal 1-4 ipswich

March 08 Arsenal 1-2 West Brom

Mar 12 QPR 2-1 Arsenal

Mar 23 Stoke 1-1 Arsenal

Apr 02  Arsenal 3-0 Leicester

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup – Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

9 There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

4 Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

C Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

D Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Key features of new policy

Pupils to learn coding and other vocational skills from Grade 6

Exams to test critical thinking and application of knowledge

A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance, Assessment, Review and Analysis for Holistic Development) will form the standard for schools

Schools to implement online system to encouraging transparency and accountability

Results

2.15pm: Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 1,700m; Winner: AF Arrab, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Ernst Oertel (trainer).

2.45pm: Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 1,700m; Winner: AF Mahaleel, Antonio Fresu, Ernst Oertel.

3.15pm: Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum handicap (TB) Dh200,000 2,000m; Winner: Dolmen, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar.

3.45pm: Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 1,200m; Winner: Amang Alawda, Sandro Paiva, Bakhit Al Ketbi.

4.15pm: The Crown Prince of Sharjah Cup Prestige (PA) Dh200,000 1,200m; Winner: AF Alwajel, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel.

4.45pm: Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 2,000m; Winner: Al Jazi, Jesus Rosales, Eric Lemartinel.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside


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