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British MP denies his aide is another Russian spy

RIA Novosti

20:08 05/12/2010

MOSCOW, December 5 (RIA Novosti) - British Member of Parliament Mike Hancock denied his Russian assistant, who is facing deportation, is a spy, British media said.

The 25-year old Katia Zatuliveter was arrested on Thursday over allegations that she is a "sleeper" spy and is currently awaiting deportation.

"She is appealing [against] it, because she feels - quite rightly - that she has done nothing wrong," the Guardian quoted Hancock.

The security services had never raised concerns with Hancock that Zatuliveter might be working for Russia, the Guardian cited Hancock as saying.

"No one has ever said to me, under any circumstances whatsoever, that she has been involved in anything like that," he said. "It is now in the hands of her lawyers. I am sure that, in the end, she will be proved to be right."

MI5 said Zatuliveter secretly worked for Moscow's intelligence service and was claimed the Home Secretary, Theresa May, approved Zatuliveter's deportation after being briefed about her alleged activities, the Sunday Times said adding that the aide intentionally worked with Hancock, who has a strong interest in Russia.

Earlier this year another two spy episodes, involving Russia, occurred.

The Russia-U.S. spy scandal broke out in late June when 10 people were arrested in the United States. The agents, who worked under cover, were freed in a swap deal between Russia and the U.S.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry announced on November 5 it had exposed a network of 15 people, including four Russian nationals linked to Russia's intelligence services.

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