Published: Jul 01, 2010 11:58 AM EDT
Updated: Jul 01, 2010 9:01 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) - Bail hearings for nine people charged in a

Russian spy case were scheduled Thursday as a U.S. prosecutor said

the evidence against them was growing stronger by the day.

Hearings were set for federal courts in New York, Boston and

Alexandria, Va., for all but one of the 10 people arrested over the

weekend by federal authorities in the United States.

Police are stepping up efforts to find an 11th person who was

arrested in Cyprus but disappeared after a Cypriot judge freed him

on $32,500 bail. The man, who had gone by the name Christopher

Metsos, failed to show up Wednesday for a required meeting with

police in connection with charges that he supplied money to the spy


Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Farbiarz had a relatively easy

time Monday as he cited evidence steadily growing stronger in

convincing a magistrate judge that the other person, Anna Chapman,

should be held without bail.

Chapman, a striking 28-year-old redhead who was branded a femme

fatale in media reports and whose photos were splashed across

tabloids' front pages, faces a potential penalty of five years in

prison if convicted.

Most of the others are charged with crimes that carry penalties

of up to 25 years.

Mikhail Semenko, Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills, all of

Arlington, Va., are set to appear Wednesday before Magistrate Judge

Theresa Buchanan in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. At the

detention hearing, Buchanan will decide whether they are to remain

in custody until future proceedings.

They have been charged with being foreign agents. Officials said

they expect the three will eventually be transferred to New York,

where the charges were filed.

Farbiarz made it clear that he believed his arguments to keep

Chapman jailed before trial applied to the other defendants as

well. Although charges were outlined against the defendants in two

documents, the prosecutor said he expected them to be combined into

one document outlining a conspiracy that stretched back to the


"The evidence against the conspirators ... is truly, truly

overwhelming," he told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis.

"There is evidence, video and audio surveillance, of meetings

between Russian government officials and some of the

co-conspiratores that are sitting at this table."

He said the defendants face "extraordinary evidence, and it is

the kind of evidence that any defendant looking at it has got to

look at it and say, 'I'm going to be convicted here."'

Farbiarz said he was seeking detention without bail for all the

New York defendants, saying the investigation was steadily gaining

evidence as search warrants are executed across the country.

Chapman's lawyer, though, has said the case against her is weak.

Her mother, Irina Kushchenko, who lives in western Moscow, said she

was wrongly accused of trying to help Russian intelligence collect

U.S. policymaking information.

"Of course I believe that she's innocent," Kushchenko said