Portsmouth MP's Russian Assistant Bailed

A Portsmouth MP's assistant accused of being a russian spy has been released on bail.

Katia Zatuliveter worked for Mike Hancock for two and a half years when she was arrested on suspicion of espionage earlier this mornth (December 2010).

Mr. Hancocks confirmed to Heart:

"It's amazing that just a week ago Katia was considered a threat to national security, but has now been released with no objection from the British government.

"I am concerned because I don't know what she will do to stay alive because she can't go to work, but I am delighted that she is out."

At the time of her arrest the Liberal Democrat MP stood by his assistant, insisting she had "nothing to hide" as she faced deportation for allegedly being a spy.

Mr Hancock also challenged the security services to produce evidence against Ms Zatuliveter, who was arrested on Thursday (Dec 2nd 2010) and was being held at an immigration detention centre.

The 25-year-old, who came to the UK three years ago to study a masters degree at Bradford University, held a House of Commons pass and underwent security vetting before taking up her position as a full-time assistant two-and-a-half years ago. She worked previously for the MP as an intern.

It is not known what prompted Ms Zatuliveter's arrest but a source told The Sunday Times earlier this month that she was no longer welcome in the UK.

The source said: "Her presence here is not considered to be conducive to national security.

"There was unhappiness about what she could have access to. The intention is to show her the door."

An immigration court in London yesterday granted the 25-year-old, bail until February.

It's being reported that the application wasn't contested by the British government and the only conditions placed upon Ms Zatuliveter are that she must not contact Mr Hancock or enter the Houses of Parliament.