Ex-fugitive Nadir released in Britain after 'bail breach'

4th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Cypriot tycoon Asil Nadir, awaiting trial in Britain on charges of multi-million-pound fraud, was released Saturday after he was arrested for allegedly breaching his bail conditions.

Nadir, who returned to Britain this year to try to clear his name after 17 years as one of its highest-profile fugitives, claimed as he left a London police station that he had received an apology.

"I was bailed with an apology," he told reporters.

The 69-year-old former head of the Polly Peck empire said a fault with the electronic tagging device he must wear at all times was to blame for his arrest.

A police spokesman said Nadir had been released "with no further action".

The businessman, who is on 250,000 pounds (300,000 euros, 400,000 dollars) bail, is accused of secretly transferring 34 million pounds from his company in the late 1980s, leading to its collapse.

Nadir left his luxurious lifestyle in Cyprus behind in August to fly back to Britain with his wife and lawyers after a court ruling that he could remain free on bail before and during his trial.

He immediately settled into a rented house in London's exclusive Mayfair district.

In its heyday, Polly Peck was one of Britain's biggest companies, with interests in sectors ranging from textiles to electronics.

Nadir became a darling of the London stock market as he oversaw the company's transformation from a small textile firm into a major company through a series of audacious takeovers, but in 1990 it collapsed.

Three years later, Nadir was charged with 66 counts of theft.

Before his trial started, he fled to the Turkish-controlled north of Cyprus, where he was born and which has no extradition treaty with Britain. He has extensive business interests there, particularly in the media.

Because of the complexity of the charges, his trial is not expected to start until 2012.

© 2010 AFP

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