Alleged Russian spy released on bail in Britain

LONDON—A Russian woman who was detained in Britain on suspicion of spying has been released on bail, her lawyers said Friday.

Ekaterina Zatuliveter, a former researcher at the House of Commons for Liberal Democrat lawmaker Mike Hancock, was detained earlier this month pending deportation to Russia.

The 25-year-old said in a statement that she has been released from an immigration detention center, but she has to obey strict bail conditions. She denies any wrongdoing.

“I am not working for and have never worked for the Russian intelligence services,” she said. “I do not understand why the deportation order has been made against me but I am determined to stay in the U.K. to fight to clear my name.”

No charges have been filed against Zatuliveter, who was arrested on Dec. 5. However, Britain’s government is seeking to deport her to Russia on the grounds that her presence in the U.K. is a threat to national security.

Her lawyers said they had seen no evidence of the government’s case against her. They have said that officials from Britain’s domestic spy agency MI5 interviewed her several times prior to her arrest, and that Home Office officials raided her house without warning before detaining her.

Her former employer Hancock, a member of Parliament’s defense committee, had said he believed Zatuliveter was wrongly accused of espionage.

The Russian Foreign Ministry complained that Britain did not respond to questions about Zatuliveter’s detention. It alleged that “influential forces” in Britain were trying to sabotage bilateral relations, without identifying them.

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