The Mail on Sunday has been banned from naming a senior Nato official who it says had an affair with a Russian woman at the centre of a spying and sex scandal.
Under the terms of a court order the paper reported yesterday that it was only able to reveal that the German diplomat is a 56-year-old married grandfather. It published a picture of him dressed in a banana suit attending a Halloween party with his face obscured.
The man is said to have had a fling with the same woman – Katia Zatuliveter, 26 – who is said to have been the mistress of Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock.
According to the Mail on Sunday, the woman is alleged to have had another affair with a second diplomat who is an adviser to a prominent European royal family.
The paper said yesterday: “It is believed the names of the two men were censored to prevent possible damage to ‘international relations’.”
Hancock was named in the deportation hearing against Zatuliveter, but – according to the Mail on Sunday – her lawyers and MI5 agreed to protect the identities of others involved in the case. Two other lovers were referred to in court as Y and L, the MoS reports.
The Mail on Sunday challenged the anonymity on Tuesday noting that it was not backed up by a court order. It was at this point, the paper reports, that the Special Immigration Appeals Commission imposed a court order protecting the identities of the two individuals. No reasons were said to have been given for the secrecy ruling.