A British academic jailed for spying by the United Arab Emirates has claimed his custody of "steal information" from the UK Foreign Office.

Matthew Hedges' case became a major stumbling block in the UK's close alliance with the UAE, which strikes from tourism to student exchanges.

He was sentenced to life in prison last month, but then granted a presidential pardon, after Britain warned of diplomatic "repercussions".

In an interview with the Times newspaper, Mr. Hedges said that he had a "panic attacks".

"I started having a panic attack, I was like 'How I'm supposed to get this information?'" He told the newspaper.

Mr Hedges, a 31-year-old PhD candidate at Durham University, was arrested after a two-week research trip. He spent five months in a prison in Abu Dhabi, part of it in solitary confinement.

It is not clear why he was targeted. Jeremy Hunt, the UK foreign secretary, traveled to the UAE shortly before Mr Hedges was sentenced and said he had received assurances.

Even after pardoning Mr. Hedges, the UAE insisted that he was a "captain" in the UK security service MI6. Alex Younger, the head of MI6, said on Tuesday that he "genuinely can not understand how our Emirati partners came to the conclusion they came to".

Mr Hedges told the BBC that UAE officials had offered various ranks to him, and he had "panicked" and chosen that of Captain.

He added that he was a torturous torturer and was deprived of natural light or any distinction from his incarceration. After he had worked for the UK government in any capacity, he was seizing the panic attacks, prompting him to confess to the spying charges.

"When the pressure increased, I could not take it," he recalled.

So he said he was in a custody for six or seven weeks and he said he did not understand.

Mr Hedges' wife, Daniela Tejada, does not seek publicity while he was detained. Ms Tejada told the Times that officials said they could not share any information with me, due to data protection laws, because they needed Matt's explicit authorization to share any information. "

Mr. Hedges suggested that the UK should examine its alliance with the UAE. He said. "Is it putting trade, is it putting finance, is it putting anything else? He told the BBC that he was looking for his name.