Fugitive Polly Peck boss Asil Nadir seeks bail

Asil Nadir

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A High Court judge is due to hear submissions on behalf of fugitive tycoon Asil Nadir about the possibility of being granted bail in the UK.

Mr Nadir, 69, fled to northern Cyprus in 1993 to avoid a £34m fraud trial centring on the collapse of his Polly Peck business empire.

Mr Nadir, who has denied any wrongdoing, faces 66 counts of theft.

Last month he indicated he would stand trial in the UK if it was guaranteed he would not be remanded in custody.

Case listed

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which is the prosecuting authority in the case, said it would support a bail application as long as conditions were attached.

The SFO said if Mr Nadir did return from northern Cyprus, which has no extradition treaty with the UK, he would be put on trial.

The case is listed to be dealt with at the Old Bailey by Mr Justice Bean.

It is understood the hearing is a preliminary one which will involve legal submissions from both sides ahead of any formal bail application.

Mr Nadir's Polly Peck empire included business interests as diverse as electronics, fruit and hotels.

He built it up from a small firm making cardboard boxes to one of the world's biggest distributors of fresh food, including the Del Monte brand.

The company was one of the fastest growing on the London stock market in the 1980s, with some shareholders seeing returns 1,000 times greater than their original investment.

In the summer of 1990 Mr Nadir was named 36th in the Sunday Times Rich List. Just weeks later Polly Peck's share price plunged after the SFO raided a company linked to the tycoon and the firm collapsed in 1991.

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