Matthew Hedges, the British man who was jailed for allegedly spying in the UAE, has landed back in London after receiving a presidential pardon.
The 31-year-old academic arrived at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday morning – a day after he was freed by the United Arab Emirates.
In a statement, he thanked those involved in securing his release, including his wife Daniela Tejada.
He said: "I don't know where to begin with thanking people for securing my release. I have not seen or read much of what has been written over the past few days but Dani tells me the support has been incredible. Thank you so much to the British Embassy and the FCO for their efforts in ensuring I arrived safely back home.
"I could not have done this without Daniela, I hear her face is everywhere! She is so brave and strong, seeing her and my family after this ordeal is the best thing that could have happened. I thank you all once again, this is very surreal."
Mr Hedges' wife thanked supporters and said she was "so happy to have my Matt home".
"Thank you once again for the overwhelming support we have received, especially from the embassy in the UAE and the Foreign Office in ensuring that Matt was safely returned home," she said. "We are overjoyed and exhausted!
Ms Tejada thanked the international community and the world's media for their help.
She added: "I hope you can all understand that Matt and I, as well as his family, really need some time to process everything that we have been through. No one should ever have to go through what he did and it will take him time to heal and recover. He is very overwhelmed.
"To say we are happy is an understatement."
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted: "Welcome home Matt Hedges! The whole country is relieved and delighted to have you home."
Mr Hedges had been sentenced to life in prison by the UAE last week, and on Monday, the state released a video of him purportedly confessing to being a member of MI6.
He was said to have been in an increasingly fragile mental state.
The UK has denied that he was a member of the intelligence services and welcomed his pardon.
Mr Hedges said he was in the UAE as part of his PhD studies, but prosecutors there maintain he was a "100% a full-time secret service operative".
The UAE also claimed it had evidence that he was collecting sensitive economic data and information on its military that went "far beyond" academic research.
Ms Tejada said she is elated that his seven-month ordeal is over – but said she had "no clue" how the UAE came to its conclusions.
The foreign secretary, who had intervened in the case, described the decision to pardon the academic as "fantastic news" in a tweet on Monday.
However, he described it as a "bittersweet moment" because justice would not be done until Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and others detained in Iran are also freed.
Mr Hedges was released alongside 784 other prisoners as part of the UAE's 47th National Day, which will be marked this weekend.
Sky's diplomatic editor Dominic Waghorn said UAE officials claimed "the clips were evidence Mr Hedges was a spy".
Waghorn added: "They could equally be a man saying whatever was required to get him out of a terrible ordeal.
"One detail was telling. Asked what rank he was in the MI6 he said 'captain'. MI6 officers and agents do not have ranks."
The UAE claimed it had evidence Mr Hedges, who had been detained at Dubai Airport on 5 May, was collecting sensitive information.
The official said the Durham University researcher was approaching sources as a PhD student to gain access to information.
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But his wife said: "In my heart I know what Matt is – he's a PhD researcher, his colleagues know it and his family know it, hundreds of academics around the world know it, and that's all that matters."
Amnesty International welcomed Mr Hedges' release, saying it was "a huge relief and goes some way to righting a wrong after Matthew's grossly unfair trial".