Russian 'spy' faces wait for UK deportation hearing

13th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

A former researcher for a British lawmaker will have to wait until October to challenge allegations that she was spying for Russia, a judge ruled Friday.

Katia Zatuliveter, 25, is fighting deportation from Britain and has been released from an immigration detention centre on stringent bail conditions.

The Russian, who was arrested last month, will not be able to challenge her deportation until a four-day hearing at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission starting on October 18.

Britain wants to deport her on the grounds that her presence is a danger to national security.

Lawyers for Home Secretary Theresa May confirmed that a witness from the security services would give evidence at the hearing, parts of which are expected to be held in private.

Zatuliveter was working for Mike Hancock, a member of the Liberal Democrats, the junior partners in Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative-led coalition government.

Hancock sits on a parliamentary defence committee and represents the southern English port city of Portsmouth where much of the British navy is based.

Zatuliveter was present at Thursday's hearing in central London.

She plans to challenge her bail conditions, which include a ban on her visiting parliament or contacting Hancock.

She must also notify the government if she meets anyone other than her immediate family and her lawyers.

Zatuliveter's case, followed by the tit-for-tat expulsions of a Russian and British diplomat, is threatening a cautious rapprochement between the two countries.

Britain continues to seek the extradition of lawmaker Andrei Lugovoi, the chief suspect in the radioactive poisoning death of dissident Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.

© 2011 AFP

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