'MI5 shows lack of knowledge about Russia'
“I could not have imagined for a second that I could win the appeal going against one on the most influential security services in the world,” Zatuliveter said.
However, she says that she actually became scared only after she understood how unprofessionally the secret service was doing its job.
“From very beginning I realized that they don’t know anything about Russia,” she explained. “The questions they were asking were absolutely stupid.”
One of the questions she was asked several times was: “How come you speak the English language if you are not a spy?”
“That’s when I actually got scared, extremely scared,” Zatuliveter said. “Not because that was an interrogation by MI5 but because they were unprofessional. They lacked any knowledge about the area they were working in, and they were extremely paranoid. And all these three together made such a horrible outcome.”
Zatuliveter was arrested a year ago after claims she was trying to siphon information during an affair with the British MP she worked for – Mike Hancock, a member of a Defence Committee.
To win the appeal she had to disclose all the personal details of her life from the very beginning.
“I won because I put out there everything about my life step by step,” she said.
Zatuliveter had to write her first witness statement before MI5 had even put their case.
”I did not know what they were accusing me of,” she said. “Everything I had was my deportation order that my presence is not conducive to national security.”
After a London tribunal allowed Zatuliveter to stay in the UK, ruling her affair with Hancock was genuine, the British government and MI5 still regard her as a threat to national security. But she believes that they were not prepared for her victory and put themselves in a position where they had to continue calling her a spy.
“It never happened in history,” she said. “My case is the first case in world history of somebody who has been accused of being a spy who actually stayed and fought a legal case against it.”