Lawyer: Case against Russian 'spy' based on a joke

AP News
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Posted: Oct 20, 2011 11:53 AM
Lawyer: Case against Russian 'spy' based on a joke

Lawyers defending a woman accused of being a Russian spy have mocked the British government's case against her as one based on a joke.

Britain is seeking to deport 26-year-old Ekaterina Zatuliveter, a former parliamentary researcher, saying she targeted her lawmaker employer and passed information to Russian intelligence.

She denies the charges. Her lawyer, Tim Owen, told a hearing Thursday the allegations were baseless and the only evidence stemmed from a joke Zatuliveter made.

Owen said the Russian had written in an email that she had managed to "disable the work of half of NATO" by distracting a NATO official she was having an affair with.

Zatuliveter's former employer, Mike Hancock, denies passing her any classified information.