Cypriot police are searching for a man free on bail, who is wanted by Greek authorities to serve the remainder of a long prison sentence, after he failed to attend a court hearing in Limassol.
According to police, 32-year-old Nikolas Meziridis failed to report to a Limassol criminal court this week, prompting law enforcement authorities to publish his photo and ask for the public’s help regarding his whereabouts.
Meziridis, a Georgia-born Greek national with a criminal past, had escaped from prison in Alikarnassos, on the island of Crete, where he was serving a 25-year-sentence for armed bank robbery, gun possession, illegal use of a deadly weapon, as well as attempted manslaughter charges.
The attorney general has the power to dismiss charges if the suspect agrees to be extradited back to Greece, where he is wanted for more serious crimes
Reports said Meziridis also had several run-ins with police in Cyprus, including an arrest in 2018 where he was detained on conspiracy charges, as well as gun possession and vehicle theft among other offences allegedly committed in Paphos.
The wanted man was also said to have attempted to use fake ID documents, while reports said he was also arrested in Limassol after he was identified as a suspect in a series of home burglaries in the town.
It was not clear whether Meziridis was still facing criminal charges in the Republic of Cyprus. The state’s attorney general has the power to dismiss charges if the suspect agrees to be extradited back to Greece, where he is wanted for more serious crimes.
Local media said a Limassol judge had allowed Meziridis to walk free on bail but police said he failed to show up in Limassol’s courthouse for a hearing. Unconfirmed reports said the suspect cited medical reasons in his bail hearing, such as suffering from an infectious disease.
Police published Meziridis’ photo on Friday and asked anyone with information about his whereabouts to contact law enforcement authorities.
Bail jumping in Cyprus is an offence punishable by law.