Former Polly Peck tycoon Asil Nadir is convicted of ten counts of theft from his former business totalling £28 million, bringing to a close a case begun in 1990. Joel Flynn reports.
A former darling of British business, said to have had the Midas touch. Now Asil Nadir faces disgrace and prison. The Turkish Cypriot has been found guilty by a British court of ten counts of stealing - totalling £28.6 million - from his now defunct business empire. Clare Whitaker from the UK's Serious Fraud Office welcomed the verdict. (SOUNDBITE) Serious Fraud Office representative, Clare Whitaker, saying (English): "Mr Nadir is an intelligent man and he had a complex network of companies and trusts in order to route the money out of the jurisdiction and conceal where it had gone from his creditors." Nadir is the former chairman and chief executive of Polly Peck International. It dealt with fruit, leisure, textiles and electronics but collapsed in 1990 with debts of 550 million pounds. Nadir fled to Cyprus from Britain in 1993, returning in 2010 to try and clear his name. . (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLLY PECK TYCOON, ASIL NADIR, SAYING: "I'm here, I've come voluntarily because the conditions now are correct, and I'm hoping that the people who rule this country and the entire population are as interested as I am that justice is practised. Everybody should be deemed innocent until they are proven guilty." REPORTER ASKS: "Are you innocent?" NADIR REPLIES: "Absolutely. Why do you think I'm here voluntarily.?" His 28-year old wife left the court alone after the verdict. Nadir was cleared of another three counts of theft and was due to be sentenced on Thursday. The Serious Fraud Office said the case had already cost the taxpayer £3 million and it would try and reclaim as much of the money as possible. Joel Flynn, Reuters