Fugitive businessman Asil Nadir arrives back in Britain

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Businessman Asil Nadir returned to Britain to face justice Thursday, 17 years after fleeing to northern Cyprus amid claims he stole millions of pounds from his collapsed firm Polly Peck.

Nadir, 69, was facing trial after being charged with 66 counts of theft when he fled in 1993. He now faces a court hearing on September 3 in London.

His plane, chartered from a Turkish airline and carrying Nadir, his wife and legal representatives, landed at Luton airport, north of London.

Shortly after arriving, he got into a Jaguar car and was driven away from the runway.

Nadir was later expected to go to a house in the plush Mayfair district of central London, where he will be staying.

In its heyday, Polly Peck was one of Britain's biggest companies with interests in sectors from textiles to electronics, but it collapsed in 1990.

Nadir was charged three years later and fled before his trial but denies any wrongdoing.

The businessman said he had faced an "injustice" but insisted there had been "no deal" to pave the way for his return to Britain.

"I feel it is time now to have a closure to this in a most acceptable way," Nadir told Britain's Sky News television en route to Britain. "It cannot continue in this manner".

© 2010 AFP

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