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Fugitive Asil Nadir returns to UK
Turkish-Cypriot tycoon back in Britain having evaded fraud and theft charges since 1993.
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2010 18:16 GMT
Nadir arrived at London's Luton Airport on a flight from Turkey [AFP]

Asil Nadir, a Turkish-Cypriot businessman, has returned to the UK having evaded trial on fraud and theft charges for 17 years.
 
Nadir fled Britain to Turkish-held northern Cyprus in 1993, while awaiting trial on charges relating to the collapse of Polly Peck, his business empire.

He is accused of secretly transferring $52.5m out of the company, which allegedly helped lead to its collapse with debts of $2bn.

Nadir had been able to stay in northern Cyprus since 1993 as it does not have an extradition treaty with the UK.

Electronic tag
 
A London court agreed to grant him bail while his case is being heard as a condition for his return to the country.
 
As part of his bail conditions, Nadir had to make a deposit of $385,000 before arriving in the UK.
 
He will also have to surrender his passport, wear an electronic tag and report to the police once a week.
 
Nadir is due to appear in court for an initial hearing on September 3. Such is the complexity of the case that a trial is unlikely to take place before 2012.
 
The former head of Polly Peck arrived at London's Luton Airport on Thursday on a flight from Turkey and was met by immigration officials.
 
Talking to reporters on the plane, he insisted that he was innocent and said he believed the environment was now right for him to get a fair trial in the UK.
 
"I'm delighted ... that, after making such an effort all these years, the environment now is acceptable and it's correct for me to go back and hopefully get a closure to this sad affair," he said.

'Deteriorating health'
 
While living in the UK, Nadir was a major donor to the Conservative Party.

His departure in 1993 lead to the resignation of a minister linked to him and raised questions over the investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.
 
In 1980, Nadir bought into Polly Peck and turned what was an ailing textile firm into a conglomerate which included business names such as Del Monte fruits and Japan's Sansui electronics.

But by 1990, the business was failing and with creditors being owned more than $124m, Nadir was forced into personal bankruptcy.
 
Before leaving Turkey, Nadir spoke to BBC Radio 4 about his reasons for leaving the UK in 1993.

He said: "[I was] battling with immense injustice and tremendous abuses of power in Britain ... my health had deteriorated and at that point I felt that to save my life, I had to come to [northern Cyrpus] to recuperate."

Source:
Agencies
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