Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock’s former aide to contest deportation decision

APPEAL Katia Zatuliveter
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A FORMER parliamentary researcher accused of working as a Russian spy will today appeal against being deported from the UK.

Katia Zatuliveter will appear before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in a bid to remain in the country.

She is suspected of using her position as an assistant to Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock to pass information to Russian intelligence.

The hearing will include evidence from the Security Services, which is expected to be heard behind closed doors.

Her solicitor Tessa Gregory said at a previous hearing in January that Miss Zatuliveter “vehemently denies” the claims and wants to clear her name as soon as possible.

Miss Zatuliveter began working for Mr Hancock as an intern in November 2006, soon after she arrived in Britain to study for a master’s degree at Bradford University.

She was given a pass to the House of Commons and was paid £250 a month from his office expenses account, before becoming his full-time Parliamentary assistant.

The Russian was stopped at Gatwick Airport in August 2010 as she was due to fly to Moscow, and was arrested in December that year amid fears she was engaged in espionage.

The Government wants to deport her on the grounds her presence is a danger to national security.