Emirati authorities say an ex-Royal Marine arrested in Dubai over spying suspicion has been cleared

A former Royal Marine who was arrested in Dubai on suspicion of spying has been cleared and is free to leave the country, authorities in the United Arab Emirates said Friday.

U.K. media reported this week that Matthew Croucher, who won one of Britain’s highest bravery honors 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 “made up and ridiculous.”

Authorities in Dubai said Friday that Croucher had been “arrested after accessing a public facility using illegal means of technology.”

“The case was referred to the Dubai Public Prosecution, 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 highlights 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 alongside the Victoria Cross ranks as Britain’s top honor for bravery — for throwing himself on a grenade in Afghanistan to protect his comrades.

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