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Cyprus and the spy

Cypriot authorities expressed “hope” they would soon re-arrest a Russian spy suspect who, say U.S. authorities, used a Canadian cover as he served as paymaster to a U.S.-based spy-ring.
Cypriot police launched a massive manhunt for Christopher Robert Metsos, who vanished after being granted bail Tuesday pending an extradition hearing requested by the United States. U.S. authorities say he is linked to the alleged spy-ring they broke up this week when they arrested 10 people throughout the U.S. northeast Sunday.
“We know his whereabouts roughly from the information we have collected,” said Cypriot Justice Minister Loucas Louca. “We have some information, and I hope that we will arrest him soon.” Louca admitted that the judge’s decision to release Metsos, 54, on $33,000 bail had been a “mistake.”
Judges in the United States weren’t as generous as their Cypriot counterpart Thursday as nine of the 10 suspects in U.S. custody sought release in hearings Thursday. Prosecutors in New York argued that the four suspects scheduled to appear in a Manhattan courtroom “have a powerful incentive to flee” if released on bail.
The U.S. has expressed frustration that Metsos is again on the lam, dispatching its ambassador to Cyprus, Frank Urbancic, to meet with President Demetris Christofias Thursday. “We are disappointed that Christopher Metsos was released on bail following his arrest in Cyprus (Tuesday),” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said. “As we had feared, having been given, unnecessarily, the chance to flee, he did so.”
Documents released earlier show Metsos is accused of laundering $40,000 as an alleged Kremlin paymaster for spies. U.S. authorities said he was under surveillance in New York in May 2004 when he received a bag containing money from an official linked to Russia’s mission to the United Nations.

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