Cyprus says bail decision up to courts

July 1, 2010 at 9:51 PM
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NICOSIA, Cyprus, July 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. ambassador to Cyprus met with the president Thursday to discuss the release of the alleged paymaster of a Russian spy ring.

Frank Urbancic spent an hour and a half with President Demetris Cristofias, The Times of London reported. The two men did not release a statement.

Christopher Metsos, 54, was arrested Tuesday in Cyprus, where he had been staying since June 17. He was quickly released on bail and almost as quickly disappeared.

A senior prosecutor told the Times any belief Metsos was granted bail because of friendly relations between Russia and Cyprus is "absolutely ridiculous."

"Our judiciary is totally independent," the prosecutor said. "This is not the first time someone facing possible extradition has been granted bail. These decisions are up to the court."

When Metsos came to Cyprus, he was accompanied by a red-haired woman about 25 years younger. The description given by people who saw them in Larnaca matches Anna Chapman, one of 10 alleged Russian spies arrested in the United States.

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