Russian 'spy' confused by British arrest: report

6th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Russian woman who faces deportation over claims she spied while working for a British lawmaker told the BBC Monday she was confused by her arrest but confident she would win her fight against expulsion.

Katia Zatuliveter contacted the BBC's Russian Service by email from detention in an unknown location, four days after the 25-year-old was arrested in London, the broadcaster said.

"I was arrested on Thusday (sic) at 7am and was told I would be deported. Nobody explained me why and this is my main concern," she wrote in the email, which had been verified, the BBC reported.

"I was not told about the arrangement of the flight.

"I am in the process of appealing against the deportation and absolutely sure I will win it (if there is justice)."

Mike Hancock, a Liberal Democrat member of parliament who employed Zatuliveter as his research assistant in the House of Commons, has dismissed the spying allegations and confirmed she was planning an appeal.

The politician sits on a parliamentary committee tasked with overseeing the work of the Ministry of Defence and his constituency in Portsmouth, on England's south coast, has significant naval interests.

Zatuliveter, who has lived in Britain for three years, was arrested after domestic intelligence agency MI5 decided she was working for the Russian intelligence service as a "sleeper" agent, The Sunday Times newspaper reported.

British authorities have refused to comment on the case.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that Moscow would give Zatuliveter consular assistance once it has established if she is a Russian citizen.

© 2010 AFP

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