UK: Russian woman accused of espionage appeals detention



UK: Russian woman accused of espionage appeals detention London: Katia Zatuliveter, a 25-year-old assistant to a member of the House of Commons, filed an appeal over her detention and possible deportation from Britain, British media said quoting Tessa Gregory, a lawyer defending the detained woman.

She said on Thursday that the British authorities had failed to provide any evidence of the alleged threat that Zatuliveter reportedly posed to the national security of the United Kingdom.

Zatuliveter, who was detained on December 02, worked as an assistant to the Liberal Democratic MP, Mike Hancock. She is reportedly suspected of having links with Russian intelligence agencies, although she has strongly denied any such connections on her part.

Tessa Gregory's law firm said that it will use the appeal to revoke the deportation and, on top of that, to attain Zatuliveter's immediate release from a detention centre in Bedfordshire.

Gregory called Zatuliveter a highly educated woman and said Katia had made it plain in her statement she had not committed anything illegal on the territory of the United Kingdom.

According to the lawyer, Zatuliveter said in her statement that the British intelligence service MI5, at the request of which she had been detained, was simply doing its job to ensure security of the UK and she treated this factor respectfully.

She also said she cooperated with MI5 in full measure when they questioned her.

Katia reiterated she has nothing to conceal as she has been doing the work of a parliamentary assistant.

Earlier on Thursday, the British authorities informed the Russian embassy in London that Zatuliveter had been detained pending encroachments on the UK immigration law. This means that they did not issue any charges of espionage to her.

PTI