KGB defector: MP’s aide was Russia’s top spy in UK
Katia Zatuliveter was ‘most effective’ spook for 30 years says Gordievsky
A big name in intelligence circles has weighed in to the controversy surrounding Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock's parliamentary researcher, Russian-born Katia Zatuliveter. Former KGB boss Oleg Gordievsky says she was the "strongest and most useful KGB agent for the last 30 years".
Zatuliveter is currently being held with a view to deportation in Yarl's Wood deportation centre in Bedfordshire. The fact that no attempt has been made to charge her with espionage has led some observers to speculate she was not an important agent.
They have compared her to Anna Chapman, the "sleeper" spy whose suburban espionage ring was uncovered in the US this year, saying she seemed in no danger of having learned anything at all. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Edward Lucas speculated that she may not have been a paid-up spy at all, merely a "casual".
But Gordievsky (above, left) does not agree. The former KGB station chief for London, who defected to the UK 25 years ago after two decades as a double agent, made his comments to a Russian radio station, Radio Svoboda, last week, the Mail on Sunday reports.
Gordievsky, who is said to still be highly connected with the international intelligence scene, said Zatuliveter had "caused more damage than all other KGB agents put together". He claimed she had been privy to naval secrets as she worked for an MP with a major naval base in his Plymouth constituency.
Gordievsky said: "She gathered information about British naval bases around the world. She asked important military questions, passed them to the MP, who then pushed them up the chain.
"Once answers arrived, she read them, re-wrote them, copied, and passed the copies to KGB agents."
Meanwhile, it has been claimed that Hancock (above, right) also arranged a tour of the House of Commons for an £800-a-night Spanish prostitute he had met in a Madrid bar. Thirty-eight-year-old Victoria Palomino told the News of the World she had been taken to a Commons bar and "shown off".
Hancock said he had no idea what Palomino did for a living and had thought she was in London for a job interview. ·
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