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Police in Cyprus Search for Accused Russian Spy

  • David Dyar

Police in Cyprus are searching for fugitive Christopher Robert Metsos, who skipped bail after being accused of supplying money to alleged Russian spies operating in the United States. U.S. officials are disappointed that Metsos had been released on bail, giving him an opportunity to flee.

The 11th person to be arrested in connection to an alleged Russian spy ring operating under deep cover in the United States is at large, while the other 10 suspects are being held in U.S. custody.

Christopher Robert Metsos, the 54-year-old suspect-turned-fugitive, was arrested at the request of Interpol on Tuesday. He was captured in the Cypriot city of Larnaca as he attempted to board a flight for Budapest, Hungary.

Metsos appeared in court later that day, was released on $33,000 bail, and disappeared.

Andreas Pastellides, a lawyer in Cyprus who represents Metsos, said Thursday that he does not know where his client might be. "This office was supposed to have a meeting with him yesterday afternoon. However, he did not show up. And since then, we don't have any contact with Mr. Metsos," he said.

Before his arrest, Metsos had been staying at a hotel in Larnaca, on the Mediterranean island's southern coast.

A police spokesman in Cyprus, Michalis Katsounotos, says authorities are focusing their attention on points of exit from the Republic of Cyprus, as well as points of entry to the Turkish Cypriot section of the island. The two sides do not have diplomatic relations. "Actually, we don't have an indication that he abandoned the island. We are still in the process to identify if he remains or he left from Cyprus territory," he said.

U.S. State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters in Washington Thursday that the United States has voiced its displeasure with the Cypriot government. "We are disappointed that Christopher Metsos was released on bail following his arrest in Cyprus. As we had feared, having been given unnecessarily the chance to flee, he did so," he said.

Metsos and the 10 other alleged Russian spies are accused of trying to gather information on U.S. nuclear weapons, foreign policy and politics.

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