Asil Nadir set free in Turkey after being extradited by Britain

Asil Nadir set free in Turkey after being extradited by Britain

Asil Nadir set free in Turkey after being extradited by Britain

DHA photo

Turkish Cypriot businessman Asil Nadir, who was jailed in Britain in 2012 for stealing millions from his business empire, was set free on April 22, one day after he was extradited by Britain to Turkey.

Nadir was flown from London to Istanbul after British authorities accepted his request to serve the rest of his sentence in Turkey. He arrived on a Turkish Airlines plane and was escorted to a police station at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. He was released after spending one night in Istanbul's Silivri prison.

Meanwhile, Nadir's sister Bilge Nevzat thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu for their efforts in her brother's extradition and release.

The 74-year-old was jailed for 10 years in 2012 for stealing 29 million pounds from Polly Peck, an ailing textiles company that he transformed into one of the most successful British firms of the 1980s. 

Its later collapse was one of Britain’s biggest corporate failures and was an embarrassment for the Conservative Party, which accepted big donations from Nadir in the 1980s. 

Meanwhile Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğly said Nadir’s transfer to Turkey was being watched very closely and that the necessary steps were taken after Nadir’s family in Cyprus met with the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan regarding the issue. “His family had a request from our president, and so we took the necessary initiatives. Concerning the crime, there were some differences between Britain and Turkey. As the British officials concerns were removed, Nadir’s transfer to Turkey was decided,” said Çavuşoğlu.   

Commenting on the decision to send Nadir to Turkey, a British Justice Ministry spokeswoman said foreign criminals should be properly punished but not at the expense of British taxpayers. 

“This government is committed to removing foreign criminals to their own countries,” she said.

 “Arrangements were made with the Turkish government for his removal as part of our prisoner transfer agreement.” 

The move took place after Nadir repaid 2 million pounds ($2.87 million) he owed the legal aid agency and 5 million pounds in compensation he paid earlier. 

Polly Peck had collapsed in 1990 when British officials began a fraud investigation. Nadir was arrested but after being released on bail, he fled the country in a private plane to live in northern Cyprus, where he was beyond the reach of British law. 

Nadir returned to London in 2010 to clear his name after 17 years on the run, but he was found guilty of 10 out of 13 charges of theft.