Asil Nadir denies theft charges in London court
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Asil Nadir. AFP photoTurkish tycoon Asil Nadir, who was one of Britain's most notorious fugitives, denied 13 counts of theft from his Polly Peck empire as he appeared at a London court today.
Nadir, 70, entered not guilty pleas at the Old Bailey to the counts which relate to the alleged theft of £33.1 million ($50.8 million, 39.8 million euro), plus an additional $2.5 million, between 1987 and 1990.
He was one of the highest-profile businessmen in Britain in the 1980s and early 1990s, but fled to Turkish Cyprus in 1993 when he was charged with multiple counts of theft after the collapse of Polly Peck.
He dramatically returned to Britain in Aug. 2010 to attempt to clear his name after 17 years as a fugitive.
Nadir had been due to face trial from Thursday, but the proceedings have been delayed.
He remains on conditional bail and is living at a house in London's exclusive Belgravia 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 before the trial started, he fled to Turkish Cyprus, where he was born and which has no extradition treaty with Britain.
He has extensive business interests there, particularly in the media