1 Jul 2010

Suspected spy goes missing in Cyprus

8:11 pm on 1 July 2010

Police in Cyprus say one of the 11 suspects accused by the United States of spying for Russia has gone missing after being given bail.

Christopher Metsos, who purports to be a Canadian citizen, was held at Larnaca airport as he tried to board a plane to Budapest, after the other 10 suspected spies were arrested in the US.

He is accused of furnishing the others with money and swapping bags covertly with other Russian operatives.

To the dismay of US justice officials, Mr Metsos was released on bail after being detained in Cyprus, pending the receipt of an arrest warrant, but failed to show up at a police station as ordered by the court.

Mr Metsos and the 10 people arrested in the US face several charges, including money laundering and conspiracy to act as unlawful agents of Russia.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says US police went "out of control" in making the arrests but White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs says he does not think relations between the US and Russia will be affected.