AFP - A Russian woman working in the British parliament is to be deported after security services arrested her on suspicion of espionage, The Sunday Times reported.
Britain's domestic intelligence service MI5 decided that Katia Zatuliveter, 25, who works for Mike Hancock, a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Commons defence select committee, was secretly working for the Russian intelligence service as a "sleeper", the paper reported.The arrest is believed to be the first time since the end of the Cold War that someone working in parliament has been accused of spying for Russia.
The newspaper said MI5 believes the attractive Zatuliveter was deliberately targeting Hancock, 64, who has a strong interest in Russia.Hancock dismissed allegations that his assistant was a spy."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," he told the Press Association.
A spokesman for the Home Office, or interior ministry, said: "We do not routinely comment on individual cases."Zatuliveter, who underwent security vetting before taking up her job, was arrested by police and immigration officials last week and is being held at a secure facility awaiting deportation to Russia.