Suspected Russian spy disappears from Cyprus

08:41, July 01, 2010      

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A Canadian man arrested in Cyprus on suspicion of being involved in a Russian spy ring in the United States went missing on Wednesday, just over 24 hours after a judge let him free on bail.

Cyprus police said Robert Christopher Metsos, aged 55, failed to report to a police station in the southern coastal city of Larnaca on Wednesday afternoon as ordered by the court and he is being sought after.

"We are proceeding with issuing an arrest warrant against him for disobeying a court order," Police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos told Xinhua.

Metsos was arrested early Tuesday at Larnaca International Airport as he was about to board a flight for Budapest, Hungary, after an 11-day stay in Cyprus.

Police said the arrest had been made on the strength of an international warrant issued by Interpol at the request of U.S. authorities.

Katsounotos said that Metsos should report to a police station at Larnaca between 6 pm and 8 pm local time on Wednesday. When he failed to do so, police went to the address he gave as his residence only to find out that the man had vanished.

A court ordered his release on bail from custody on Tuesday, pending a hearing for his extradition to the United States on July 29. The court also ordered him to surrender his Canadian passport to the registrar of the court and report once a day to a police station.

A police source said on condition on anonymity that Metsos had not left Cyprus through an airport or a port, but he may have slipped over the dividing line into the Turkish Cypriot north, which is not under the control of the internationally recognized government of Cyprus Republic.

Travel between the two parts of Cyprus is only possible by showing a passport or an identity card through any of six crossing points.

Cyprus media speculated that Metsos may have illegally crossed over the loosely controlled confrontation line extending to some 180 kilometers from east to west.

Metsos is among the 11 suspects which were accused by U.S. authorities of gathering information in the United States for Russia.

Source: Xinhua


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