Some Background On Ekaterina Paderina & Arron Banks The Tory Backer!
Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 12/12/2010
Greg Lance – Watkins
‘Spy MP’ helped Russian woman in mafia inquiry
Documents show that Mike Hancock involved himself so closely in the case of the second woman that he hand-delivered a letter to her
Hancock’s parliamentary assistant Katia Zatuliveter is in detention awaiting deportation (Chris Ison)
A Liberal Democrat MP whose parliamentary assistant has been accused by MI5 of being a spy intervened to stop another young Russian woman being deported. She was being investigated by Special Branch detectives over possible links to the Russian mafia.
Documents seen by The Sunday Times show that Mike Hancock involved himself so closely in the case of the second woman that he hand-delivered a letter to her, confirming her permission to remain in Britain. Her husband at the time, whom she had married to stay in the country, has accused Hancock of having designs on his wife.
Hancock’s parliamentary assistant, Katia Zatuliveter, 25, is in detention awaiting deportation. MI5 believes she is an agent of the SVR, the Russian intelligence service.
The scandal has threatened to escalate into a full-blown diplomatic incident, with the Russian embassy insisting she is not an agent, and has raised questions over whether Hancock was compromising himself by becoming overly involved with young, attractive Russian women. Ekaterina Paderina, then aged 25, married Eric Butler, then 54, in 1998 within months of meeting him in Portsmouth, where Hancock is an MP. Butler said he was questioned by Special Branch in 1999.
“There were concerns about whether Ekaterina was in the country for legitimate reasons,” said Butler, now 66 and a retired ship steward.
Another source, who knew Butler and his wife, said he was also questioned by a Special Branch officer about Paderina.
“It wasn’t her specifically that Special Branch were interested in; she was merely a cog in what they were looking at,” said the source. “To put it very bluntly, they were looking at a Russian mafia connection to Portsmouth.”
Butler said he realised shortly after his wedding that Ekaterina had married him only so as to remain in Britain. Despite the marriage, the authorities made attempts to return her to Russia, and the couple approached Hancock for help. Butler said he quickly developed reservations over involving Hancock.
“I could see him looking at her in his office in a certain way,” he said. “One day I came home and found them both in the conservatory, and Ekaterina had her legs positioned in a way which was very provocative and Hancock was leaning forward in his chair. I got angry and told him I would thump him if he didn’t get out.”
Hancock wrote letters on Paderina’s behalf to Barbara Roche, the immigration minister at the time, supporting her application to stay in Britain.
An entry in Paderina’s diary in September 1999, seen by The Sunday Times, stated: “Mike Hancock arrived, we had a chat, he gave me a letter which said that I have been granted another visa for a year. Immediately it was like having a huge weight taken off my shoulders.”
After being divorced by Butler in 2001, Paderina quickly remarried another British man. Paderina, now 37 and with the married name Banks, said she had no knowledge of Special Branch’s interest in her. She denied ever having had an inappropriate relationship with Hancock and said she could not remember a confrontation between Butler and the MP in their house.
Of her relationship with Butler, she insisted their marriage had been “valid” but added: “I didn’t marry Eric Butler for love.”
Asked if her motive in marrying him was to stay in Britain, she said yes.
Hancock denied having behaved improperly with Paderina. He admitted writing letters on her behalf but denied any knowledge of police involvement.
When told of Paderina’s diary entry, he said: “I might have dropped off a letter at their house but I was certainly never in their house. I’m not that stupid.”
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