Russian 'spy' vows to clear name in Britain

24th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

A former researcher for a British lawmaker vowed on Friday to fight allegations that she was spying for Russia and said she was determined to remain in Britain.

Katia Zatuliveter, 25, said she was trying to find a new job to support herself after being released from an immigration detention centre on bail as British authorities seek to deport her.

"I am not working for and have never worked for the Russian intelligence services," she said in a statement.

"I have been released from detention on bail but I am having to abide by very difficult bail conditions.

"I have lost my job and am now looking for employment so that I can support myself but obviously, given my situation, it is very difficult."

She said she did not understand why the deportation order has been made, but added: "I am determined to stay in the UK to fight to clear my name."

Her lawyer described her situation as "truly Kafkaesque" because her case will be judged on evidence from the British domestic intelligence service that she may not be able to see.

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

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

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.

The Russian foreign ministry on Wednesday said that "unfriendly" behaviour by Britain was responsible for sparking the diplomatic expulsions.

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

© 2010 AFP

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