A British national held on death row in Ethiopia for four years has been released.

Ethiopia-born Andargachew Tsege, also known as Andy, was accused by the Ethiopian authorities of being a terrorist and was tried with others in his absence in 2009 before being sentenced to death.

The father-of-three, who fled Ethiopia in the 1970s and sought asylum in the UK in 1979, had been a prominent critic of the country’s ruling party.

In June 2014 Mr Tsege, who is in his 60s, was kidnapped in Yemen and rendered to the African country, where he has since been held in prison.

The Foreign Secretary said: “I am pleased Andargachew Tsege is now able to reunite with his loved ones after being separated from them for so long.

“His case has been a priority for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and our staff have worked tirelessly to support him and his family throughout his detention.”

He added: “Recent moves by the Ethiopian government send a positive signal that they remain serious about following through with promised reforms to increase political space.

“Our dedicated staff continue to work hard behind the scenes on all consular cases around the world.”

PA