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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Russian woman working in House of Commons 'faces deportation over spy allegations'

Russian woman working in House of Commons 'faces deportation over spy allegations'

A young Russian working in the House of Commons as an MP's assistant, Katia Zatuliveter, is facing deportation over allegations she is a spy.

Katia Zatuliveter has written articles that criticised Nato while defending military action by Russia. Photo: East2West News

Katia Zatuliveter was working as an aide to Mike Hancock, a Lib Dem who sits on the defence select committee Photo: PA

By Robert Mendick, Chief Reporter 8:30AM GMT 05 Dec 2010

Miss Zatuliveter, 25, is to be expelled from the UK after a lengthy investigation by MI5, according to reports.

It is claimed MI5 became convinced she was secretly working for Russian intelligence.

She is an aide to Mike Hancock, a Liberal Democrat MP who sits on the defence select committee. Mr Hancock has strong interests in Russian affairs.

It is claimed Miss Zatuliveter is being held in a secure facility awaiting deportation to Russia, that she was arrested by police and Border Agency officials last week and that she has now given up her Commons pass.

It is thought to be the first time since the end of the Cold War that somebody working in the Commons has been accused of spying for the Russians. It was reported that her expulsion was approved by the Theresa May, the Home Secretary.

Suspicions over Miss Zatuliveter were first flagged up in August when she was stopped as she re-entered the UK at Gatwick airport. She was detained and questioned over her activities for Mr Hancock.

A source told The Sun: "Her presence here is not considered to be conducive to national security. There was unhappiness about what she could have access to. The intention is to show her the door."

But Mr Hancock said: "She is not a Russian spy. I know nothing about espionage, but she has been subjected to a deportation order.

"She is appealing it, because she feels - quite rightly - that she has done nothing wrong."

The Portsmouth South MP said that the security services had never raised concerns with him about the possibility that Ms Zatuliveter might be working for Russia.

"No-one has ever said to me under any circumstances whatsoever that she has been involved in anything like that," he said. "It is now in the hands of her lawyers. I am sure that in the end she will be proved to be right."

Asked about the report, a Home Office spokesman said only: "We do not routinely comment on individual cases."

The case follows the high profile arrest earlier this year in the US of Anna Chapman, who had lived and worked in London before moving to New York.


Russian 'spy': Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock denies researcher facing deportation is Moscow sleeper agent

A young Russian woman working in the House of Commons for the Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock is facing deportation as a suspected spy.

Comment: I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in Handycock's office...

1 comment:

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