French-Israeli diamond magnate Beny Steinmetz was released on bail Wednesday, police said, after his arrest on a Romanian warrant over an unserved sentence.
Steinmetz had been detained at Larnaca International Airport on August 31 under a Europol arrest warrant issued by Romania, police said at the time.
A Romanian court had sentenced Steinmetz in absentia to five years in jail in 2020 for setting up “an organised criminal group” in a series of land deals between 2006 and 2008 that cost Romania an estimated 135 million euros ($152 million).
A Cypriot police spokesperson said Steinmetz appeared before a Larnaca district court on Wednesday as part of his extradition hearing, and the case was adjourned until September 14.
Steinmetz was released from police custody on conditional bail before his next court appearance.
“The suspect met his bail conditions and was released today (Wednesday) and has to appear in court again,” the police spokesperson said without elaborating.
An Israeli-based spokesman for Steinmetz also said he had been released on bail.
The defence was seeking to get the warrant for his arrest cancelled “due to significant flaws in the legal process followed in Romania,” the spokesman said in a statement.
A Greek court had rejected the same extradition request by Romania last year after Steinmetz was detained in Athens, the statement noted.
In a separate case earlier this year, Steinmetz was found guilty by a Swiss court of corruption linked to mining rights in Guinea, a decision his team said they would appeal at Switzerland’s highest court.