Ex-fugitive Nadir threatens to sue British police

5th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Cypriot tycoon Asil Nadir, awaiting trial in Britain on charges of multi-million-pound fraud, threatened to sue British police Saturday for wrongful arrest.

Nadir, who returned to Britain this year to try to clear his name after 17 years as a high-profile fugitive, was arrested earlier in the day for allegedly breaching bail conditions.

He was held for a few hours at a London police station before being released.

As he left, the 69-year-old former head of the Polly Peck empire told reporters that he had received an apology and said a fault with the electronic tagging device he must wear at all times was to blame for his arrest.

"We are taking, on Monday morning first thing, we are issuing a writ, taking proceedings against the people that have created this most unfortunate situation," he said.

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

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 is staying in 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 conglomerate through a series of audacious takeovers.

But in 1990 it collapsed and 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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