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Alleged Russian spy to fight deportation from UK

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Dec 24, IRNA -- Former parliamentary researcher Katia Zatuliveter says that she will fight being deported from the UK after denying allegations of being a Russian spy, according to a statement issued by her solicitors, Public Interest Lawyers (PIL).

“I do not understand why the deportation order has been made against me but I am determined to stay in the UK to fight to clear my name,” Zatuliveter said.

“I am not working for and have never worked for the Russian Intelligence Services,” she said in a copy of the statement obtained by IRNA.

Zatuliveter, who worked for Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock since 2008, was bailed last week after being arrested on December 2, reportedly on MI5 orders.

She said she would also fight the onerous bail conditions imposed upon her, which include strict residency requirements and require her to seek permission to meet with anyone other than her immediate family and legal team.

The attempt to deport the researcher, who also worked for the BBC, comes amid a renewed diplomatic spat betweem Russia and Britain and tit-for-tat expulsions of one staff member from respective embassies in London and Moscow.

PIL lawyer Tessa Gregory said that as her deportation was being handled by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) on the basis of being a national security threat, it is “unlikely to ever know the full details of the case against her.”

“Katia’s present situation is truly Kafkaesque. She has been arrested, detained and is now living under stringent bail conditions yet we still have no inkling as to the Home Secretary’s case against her,” Gregory said.

Russian charge d'affaires in London Alexander Sternik has also said that Moscow was trying to establish details of the case and will do its best to ensure the rights of Zatuliveter will be observed.

Diplomatic relations between Britain and Russia have been at their lowest ebb since the days of the Cold War following a dispute over the killing of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.

The UK had sought to extradite former KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi to face trial for the murder, but according to US cables recently published by Wikileaks, Russia was tracking the assassins of the dissident before he was poisoned but was warned off by Britain.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30140538

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