Cyprus will hand over fugitive Russian spy's laptop to US

27th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Cypriot Attorney General Petros Clerides has ruled that personal items seized from a fugitive Russian spy suspect, including a laptop, can be turned over to US authorities, police said on Tuesday.

US officials had asked Cyprus to hand over Christopher Metsos's personal belongings after he jumped bail on June 30, the day after his arrest.

"We received a decision from the attorney general in the Metsos case which says that all items that were confiscated from him can be given over to the US authorities," said a police spokeswoman.

At the time of his arrest the alleged spy had tried to fly out of Cyprus to Budapest.

He was found in possession of a laptop computer and several USBs, which have been checked by Cypriot police.

Metsos was arrested at Larnaca airport after his name was found on a stop list. He was using a passport that carried the name of a Canadian child who died at the age of five.

The 54-year-old Canadian was released on 26,500 euros (32,330 dollars) cash bail then went missing, prompting US criticism of the way Cypriot authorities handled the situation.

He was the 11th suspect among a group of deep cover Russian agents arrested in the United States last month. He is said to have been under surveillance in New York City in 2004 when he received a bag containing money from an official associated with Russia's UN mission.

The other 10 have since been deported to Russia in a prisoner swap.

Metsos remains at large, although he is no longer believed to be in Cyprus, where he arrived from Vienna on June 17 as a tourist.

Cypriot authorities say they have no idea how he escaped or where he went.

© 2010 AFP

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