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Emirati authorities say an ex-Royal Marine arrested in Dubai on suspicion of espionage has been acquitted

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A former Royal Marine arrested in Dubai on suspicion of espionage has been acquitted and allowed to leave the country, authorities in the United Arab Emirates said Friday.

British media reported this this week Matthew Croucherwho won one of Britain’s highest awards for bravery for his service in Afghanistan, had been arrested in November and banned from leaving the UAE pending an investigation.

His family said in a statement that the case was “fabricated and ridiculous.”

Authorities in Dubai said Friday that Croucher “was arrested after gaining access to a public facility using illegal technology.”

“The case was referred to the Dubai Public Prosecution Service and after thorough investigation, the evidence was found to be inadequate. The case was dismissed and Croucher is now free to leave the UAE,” said the Dubai Media Office, a government agency in the sheikhdom. “The decision underlines the Dubai Public Prosecution’s commitment to upholding the rule of law.”

The British government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Croucher, 40, was awarded the George Cross – which ranks alongside the Victoria Cross as Britain’s highest award for bravery – for throwing himself on a grenade in Afghanistan to protect his comrades.

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