London, Oct 19: A British lawmaker's former assistant accused of spying for Moscow went to court on Tuesday in a bid to prevent being deported—telling judges that she had an affair with her boss, but was not a Russian agent.
Ekaterina Zatuliveter, also known as Katia, was arrested in December on suspicion of using her position in the office of legislator Mike Hancock to pass information to Russian intelligence. She was not charged, but British authorities want to deport her as a danger to national security.
Zatuliveter denies spying and is asking the Special Immigration Appeals Commission to block her extradition. The case is being heard by three judges and a former head of the MI5 intelligence agency.
Hancock, a Liberal Democrat member of Parliament who sits on the House of Commons Defense Committee, has said 26-year-old Zatuliveter worked as a researcher in his office for two-and-half years, but was not involved in sensitive matters. He has said he is confident she was not a spy.
Zatuliveter denied an allegation by a lawyer of the British government, that she had targeted Hancock because he was influential.
“I don't think that he is very influential,” she said.”He is a backbench MP.”