A Greek Cypriot man who was arrested in the north as a suspected spy because he was using a walkie-talkie to stay in communication with friends, has been detained for an additional eight days.

Andreas Soutzis, who is also a bicommunal activist, was stopped and arrested at the Pergamos crossing in the Famagusta area on his way back to the south of the island on August 30.

Soutzis, along with others, was going to Galatea village in the north on August 13 and was taking part in some group activities including hiking. Soutzis, an electrician by profession, is a well-known activist in the reunification movement.

He allegedly used walkie-talkies to facilitate communication between vehicles due to problems experienced on Greek Cypriot mobiles in the north. According to initial information, one of these wireless means of communication was left behind at the hotel where Soutzis and his friends had stayed. Unauthorised possession of walkie-talkies is prohibited in the north.

The walkie-talkie was handed over to police who then opened an investigation, arresting Soutzis on his way back. He was remanded last Friday for five days and appeared before the court again on Wednesday.

Turkish Cypriot lawyer, Odgel Polili, told CNA after the hearing that no charges of espionage had been brought against Soutzis.

Photographs he has in his possession that were taken during a hike with 25 other people from Dherynia to the occupied part of Famagusta were confiscated. His mobile devices, including a GPS, have also been confiscated and a collection of memory cards, the lawyer said.

Media reports said he also had some maps in his possession where military areas had been underlined.

The police investigator asked for more time from the court to review the data while the prosecutor, Hasan Bosnak, argued that it was a matter of public safety.

Polili told reporters the most basic legal rules has been violated in this case and that the matter had not even been reported to the bicommunal committee on crime, which he said should intervene.

The UN was informed of the arrest and the Cyprus foreign ministry also said it was making attempts to have him freed.