YORK man Paul Blanchard says he is now planning to appeal against his UK conviction for fraud in 2008 after winning his battle against extradition to Spain.

Blanchard, 76, of Fulford, also says he will seek to recover £1 million he was forced to pay under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) following his conviction.

Speaking yesterday after the High Court overturned a decision last year that he should be extradited to Spain over fraud and other allegations, he said he was jailed in the UK for two frauds worth £4.7million, which he had been monitoring for Spanish police intelligence.

He claimed he had had no choice but to plead guilty in the UK because Spain refused to confirm his status as an intelligence asset.

He said his defence material included covert recordings of his discussions with Spanish agents.

Blanchard also claimed he had sent a lengthy list of names, including Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, to MI5 a year before the devastating terror attacks on London in 2005.

He said that in an earlier UK court statement, a York Special Branch officer had confirmed that he had passed information from Blanchard to MI5 in July 2004, but the Crown Prosecution Service later said MI5 could not confirm the content of his report.

Blanchard said: “I am delighted to have defeated this deeply flawed extradition request, in which Spain again failed to acknowledge my role as a whistle-blower on alleged frauds committed on Tenerife."

He claimed he was a former informant and protected witness who, for several years from 2001, provided police intelligence agents with insight into suspected criminals, and terror financiers, using complex offshore structures.

"I was given armed protection, handlers, a codename and protected witness status," he claimed. "I am a whistle-blower, not a criminal."