The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined efforts by Cypriot investigators to find the body of the former Greek Cypriot president Tassos Papadopoulos, which was stolen from his grave earlier this month.
A local police spokesman was quoted by Cypriot TV reports as saying an FBI official visited Cyprus last week to collect information on the crime.
"We are waiting for the FBI to determine what help we can ask it for," Mihalis Katsunotos said.
Thieves broke into the grave and took the body on December 11, a day before the first anniversary of ex-president's death.
The motive for the crime is unknown.
Marios Garoyan, the current leader of Papadopoulos's center-right DIKO party, condemned the crime as "heinous and terrible."
The spokesman denied reports by Cypriot media which said the body could be taken out of the island or to the territory of the unilaterally declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Papadopoulos died of lung cancer in Nicosia in 2008 at the age of 74. He served as president from 2003 until February 2008, when he lost his bid for reelection. He oversaw the Republic of Cyprus's entry into the European Union in 2004.
His funeral in December 2008 was attended by thousands of mourners, including the Greek prime minister and foreign minister.
ATHENS, December 28 (RIA Novosti)