UPDATE: Perhaps the odd actions of the judge in Cyprus were just an attempt to avoid a political crisis. The suspect probably would have been part of a spy swap if he had not been released.
"Suspects arrested on the island are almost always held in custody for fear they may attempt to flee through the internationally unrecognised Turkish-run enclave of northern Cyprus. Both Turkey and Syria are only short boat rides away."
Russian spy ring suspect jumps bail in Cyprus
The Russian espionage drama intensfied tonight as the alleged paymaster in the "deep cover" spy ring failed to answer bail in Cyprus.
An arrest warrant was issued for Christopher Metsos, the 11th suspected member of the operation, after he failed to report to a police station in Larnaka, the Guardian has learned.
Metsos, 55, was arrested in Cyprus on Tuesday but, to the surprise of Cypriot police, was released on bail. Ten other accused are in custody in the US, after the FBI broke up the alleged ring on Monday.
"An arrest warrant has been issued and if found he will be arrested immediately," an officer at the police station in Larnaka told the Guardian. "He has broken his pledge to be here."
Metsos was first stopped at 9am yesterday at Larnaca airport by officers acting on an Interpol "red notice", moments before he was about to board a plane to Budapest.
Appearing before a district court judge, Metsos was told he could walk free, pending an extradition hearing within 30 days, if he posted €20,000 (£16,000) bail.
Metsos, who is thought to have been travelling on a Canadian passport, is believed to have returned immediately to his hotel in Larnaca, which he had checked out of only hours before.
Suspects arrested on the island are almost always held in custody for fear they may attempt to flee through the internationally unrecognised Turkish-run enclave of northern Cyprus. Both Turkey and Syria are only short boat rides away...