Ex-husband of alleged spy reveals her father's KGB links

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The Independent US

The young woman arrested in the United States as an alleged Russian spy may have been recruited to work for the secret services by her father while she was living in London. An MI5 officer interviewed her ex-husband, Alex Chapman, a 30-year old trainee psychiatrist, at his home in Bournemouth on Wednesday, as part of their investigations into the background of Mrs Chapman, 28, who is one of ten people arrested in the United States accused of spying.

Ms Chapman had told her ex-husband that her father, Vasily Kuschchenko, was a "high ranking" officer in the country's security forces, according to the Daily Telegraph to whom Mr Chapman has sold his story.

MI5 is looking to ascertain if Ms Chapman, who has a British passport and British citizenship, may have been spying on Britain, or recruited here to spy on the US.

The couple are said to have met at a party in 2002 and were married five months later. They divorced four years later but remained in touch. Mr Chapman told The Daily Telegraph: "Anna told me her father had been high up in the ranks of the KGB. She said he had been an agent in "old Russia".

Her father controlled everything in her life, and I felt she would have done anything for her dad.

"When I saw that she had been arrested on suspicion of spying it didn't come as much of a surprise to be honest.

"Towards the end of our marriage she became very secretive, going for meetings on her own with "Russian friends", and I guess it might have been because she was in contact with the Russian government.

"It's just totally weird to think that my ex-wife could be involved in something like this," he added.

Mr Chapman first met his new father-in-law on their honeymoon to Zimbabwe in 2002, where he was serving as a diplomat.

"I asked her what her father's job was and Anna just said he was there to represent the Russian government in certain areas of government," said Mr Chapman. "He didn't trust anyone. He asked me why I had chosen a Russian bride and asked what business I had in Russia, and I said none.

"He was scary. He would never introduce me to other Russian people who came to the house and he always seemed to have a lot more security than the other diplomats.

He had a Land Rover with blacked out windows and there was always one car in front of it and one car behind."

Several stories have emerged concerning Mrs Chapman's life in London, which has involved a succession of well paid jobs. In one, as the PA to the head an Asset Management Firm, she is said to have made friends with Sir Philip Green and other high profile businessmen. A spokesperson for Mr Green said he had no recollection of having met her.