21 November 2011

Katya Zatuliveter, Oleg Gordievsky & the Cambridge Parrot

Katya Zatuliveter has been in the news recently. I think she has been much maligned by the British Security Service (MI5) in order to gain some political advantage. I gave an interview a few days ago to the Voice of Russia radio station, to try to put the record straight.

Due to the limitations of a radio interview some parts of my interview had to be cut. For example, I talked about my Member of Parliament, Andrew Mackinlay MP:

Commentator: Do you know of other cases where Members of Parliament have been criticised for being connected to a Russian?

Michael John Smith: In 2008 my own MP, Andrew Mackinlay, was targeted in a smear campaign, simply because he had been having meetings with a Russian diplomat in the Houses of Parliament. Mr Mackinlay was a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, so it was not unusual for him to have meetings with foreign representatives. Unfortunately, the paranoia of MI5 came into action, and stories suddenly started appearing in the newspapers that Mr Mackinlay was involved in something sinister, and that espionage might be involved.

Commentator: Surely, just talking with a diplomat doesn’t amount to spying?

Michael John Smith: No, I agree, but I believe in Mr Mackinlay’s case he became a target because he had asked probing questions in Parliament about issues that embarrassed the Government. For example, he was concerned about Britain’s involvement in the war in Iraq - he knew that Prime Minister Tony Blair had lied about the motives for the war. A smear campaign was an effective way to stop Mr Mackinlay causing embarrassment to the British Government and its Intelligence Services. Mr Mackinlay retired as an MP in 2010, but he did call for the British security services to be ‘brought under control’ for claiming there were too many Russian spies in the UK.

It seems that MI5 are acting more like Inspector Clouseau, rather than a sort of George Smiley character. However, Oleg Gordievsky, that ex-spy brought out at such occaisions to spread the disinformation, has not disappointed us this time. He claims that Katya was an important Russian spy.

David Rose the journalist, freely admitted that he was an agent of MI5 and MI6. It is good that he has declared his involvement in this disinformation of the news MI5 and MI6 want to circulate.