Suspected Russian spy admits affair with Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock and NATO official

Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock and Ekaterina Zatuliveter

From Gordon Rayner and Duncan Gardham, the Telegraph: A Russian woman accused of being a spy has admitted having a four-year affair with the Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock while she worked as his parliamentary researcher.

Ekaterina “Katia” Zatuliveter, 26, is fighting deportation after being arrested last year and accused of targeting the married 65 year-old as part of a “honeytrap” operation orchestrated by Russian intelligence.

During her four-year stint in Mr Hancock’s office – during which she moved into his London flat as his live-in lover – she had a parliamentary pass and potentially had access to sensitive defence documents through his position on the defence select committee.

An immigration tribunal heard that Miss Zatuliveter even helped the MP – who was “vulnerable” to foreign intelligence agencies because of a history of extra-marital affairs – to formulate written questions to Parliament.

She has dismissed allegations of spying as “absurd” but admitted that she had also had affairs with a Nato official, a Dutch diplomat and a senior UN official.

Miss Zatuliveter was arrested last year and questioned by MI5 and MI6 officers on suspicion of spying, before the Home Secretary, Theresa May, announced she would be deported. . . .

After breaking off her affair with Mr Hancock in April 2010 she began a relationship with “Y”, a Nato worker she met in London.

When she was later questioned by MI5 officers she was shown a picture of “Y” and asked about an email she had sent him “attempting to extract information” about a past Nato meeting attended by the former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.

Miss Zatuliveter said she was just “showing off” about her knowledge of the meeting but told the MI5 officers she would break off contact with “Y”.

“They said they couldn’t care less because I had already extracted information from him and…the harm had already been done,” she told the tribunal.  (photo: Julian Simmonds/PA)

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