05 December 2010

UK MP's Assistant, Katia Zatuliveter (Katja Zatoeliveter), a Spy for Russia

A Russian working in the House of Commons is to be deported from Britain after security services arrested her on suspicion of espionage.

Katia Zatuliveter, who works for Mike Hancock, a Liberal Democrat member of the Commons defence select committee, is to be expelled after MI5 decided the 25-year-old was secretly working for the Russian intelligence service as a "sleeper".

MI5 believes she was deliberately targeting Mr Hancock, 64, who has strong Russian interests and a reputation as a womaniser.

Her 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 the Russians.

Ms Zatuliveter, who was vetted before taking up her post, was arrested by police and Border Agency officials last week and is being held at a secure facility awaiting deportation to Russia. It is believed she was working for the SVR, Russia's foreign intelligence service.

A source said: "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."

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