The British Special Immigration Appeals Commission upheld on Tuesday alleged Russian spy Katia Zatuliveter’s appeal against the order to deport her to Russia.
Zatuliveter, 26, an aide to British Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock, was arrested in August 2010 and then ordered to leave the country on charges of spying for Russia. She had admitted to have a four-year affair with Hancock, who is married, but denied being a spy.
Earlier in October she began her appeal against the Home Office deportation order.
Zatuliveter's lawyers called the SIAC’s decision “historic.”
“Today in its historic decision the Special Immigration Appeals Commission has cleared Katia and cancelled the deportation order,” Public Interest Lawyers said in a statement, adding that “Katia is definitely very glad with the ruling and hopes to leave behind this episode.”
During the open part of the trial on Tuesday, Zatuliveter disclosed some details of her relationship with Hancock as well as those with a Dutch diplomat and a senior NATO official (a married, 56-year-old German), who specialized in security issues covering Russia and Europe.
Zatuliveter declined to comment on the ruling or answer journalists’ questions.
The Home Office slammed the ruling, saying that “the court ruled that there were ample grounds for suspicion. We are therefore very disappointed by the court's judgment and stand by our decision to pursue deportation on national security grounds."