Wife Of PhD Researcher Jailed In UAE Feels "More Hopeful" After Jeremy Hunt Meeting

23 November 2018, 08:11

The wife of the British academic jailed for life in the UAE accused of spying has told LBC she feels more hopeful about his release following a meeting with Jeremy Hunt.

Daniela Tejada originally said the Foreign Office, led by Boris Johnson when he was jailed, had failed them over Matthew Hedges' imprisonment.

But following his life sentence in a five-minute hearing, she met with the new Foreign Secretary and says she's now more hopeful about the British efforts to release him.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, she said: "The Foreign Office has increasingly become more involved in Matt's case throughout the months.

"However, I believe that the initial case of Matt's situation was poorly handled in the sense that it was not treated with the seriousness that it should have, in spite of me insisting on the underlying causes of his detention.

"Naturally this was all speculative, but I had good reason to think that there would be a gross misunderstanding of Matt's research and my pleas for more intervention from higher ranking members of the Foreign Office was constantly dismissed.

"I appreciate that the Foreign Secretary and Minister Burt have become increasingly engaged in the situation, but I feel that had my requests been listened to at earlier stages, Matt would not have had to endure six months of mistreatment in solitary confinement."

Nick Ferrari spoke to Daniela Tejada, wife of jailed Matthew Hedges
Nick Ferrari spoke to Daniela Tejada, wife of jailed Matthew Hedges. Picture: PA / LBC

However, she says Mr Hunt has given her more belief that it might have a happy ending.

She said: "I am more hopeful than I was before. He reassured me that the British government are doing everything they can to bring Matt home safely, as they know he is an innocent man and is not guilty of what he's been accused of.

"He is trying to make the necessary representations with his counterpart at the very highest level in the UAE and I just hope that after seeing the British government's response, the UAE will take assurance in the fact that Matt is innocent."