The United Arab Emirates has said a presidential pardon has been issued for jailed British academic Matthew Hedges and he has been released.

Mr Hedges will leave the country as soon as “procedures” are completed, an official statement said.

The pardon was issued minutes after a video of him purportedly confessing to being a member of Britain’s intelligence agency MI6 was broadcast.

His wife, Daniela Tejada, welcomed the pardon and said she could not wait for him to come home.

-Noah Harte