By politics.co.uk staff
The parliamentary researcher facing deportation for being a Russian spy says she will win her appeal "if there is justice".
Katia Zatuliveter, who MI5 believes has been working for Russia's intelligence services, had worked as Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock's parliamentary researcher for the past two-and-a-half years.
Mr Hancock has insisted she has had no access to confidential material relating to Britain's foreign policy or defence, despite her assisting his work as a member of the Commons' defence committee.
Ms Zatuliveter reiterated claims that she was innocent in an email to the BBC's Russian Service yesterday evening.
"I was arrested on Thursday at 7am and was told I would be deported. Nobody explained me why and this is my main concern," she wrote.
"I was not told about the arrangement of the flight. I am in the process of appealing against the deportation and absolutely sure I will win it (if there is justice)."
A source told the Sunday Times newspaper that there was "unhappiness" within MI5 about what Ms Zatuliveter "could have had access to", adding: "The intention is to show her the door."
Mr Hancock told politics.co.uk in an interview from January this year that he benefited from the insight she offered him into Russian affairs.
"I get a lot of knowledge - because she [Zatuliveter] takes the time and trouble to read what the Russian media are saying - about events in Britain, for example," Mr Hancock said.
"You get a different feel for the issue. Likewise, I'm hearing from her what the Russians are saying about their own analysis of what's going on in the world."
Unusual bag searches took place on the parliamentary estate this morning as authorities rushed to improve security. It is not yet clear whether the sudden spike in vigilance is linked to the Zatuliveter case.