A suspected Russian spy who jumped bail in Cyprus has probably fled the island, Cypriot Justice Minister Loucas Louca said on Friday.
Christopher Robert Metsos, 54, skipped bail on Wednesday a day after a court ordered his release from custody. He is wanted by the United States on allegations of being paymaster to a group of suspected Russian sleeper spies arrested last weekend.
"It's my belief that he has left Cyprus, I do not think he is in areas controlled by the republic," Louca told Reuters.
Metsos, holder of a Canadian passport, was in Cyprus when his 10 co-accused were arrested in the United States.
He had attempted to leave the island on Tuesday morning for Budapest and was arrested on the basis of an Interpol alert.
A court ordered he be freed on bail, overturning a request from police he remain in custody. He handed in his passport, but disappeared a day later.
Cyprus is split by a 180 km ceasefire line separating the south -- run by an internationally recognised government -- where Metsos was arrested, and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot administration. The area is not internationally recognised and does not have extradition treaties with other jurisdictions.
Authorities searching for Metsos distributed his photo to checkpoints controlling access from one side of the island to the other after he disappeared.
Turkish Cypriot police say they have no knowledge of Metsos being in the territory.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 03 Temmuz 2010, 10:05