Nadir theft trial jury still out

The jury in the trial of former fugitive tycoon Asil Nadir has been sent home after an eighth day of deliberations over theft charges.

On Monday the 10 jurors found Nadir, 71, guilty of three counts amounting to £5.5 million, and cleared him of a fourth count.

Nadir, of Mayfair, London, is accused of plundering millions from his Polly Peck International business empire between 1987 and 1990.

Nadir was found guilty of stealing £1.3 million to secretly buy Polly Peck shares to bolster its Stock Exchange price. He was also found guilty of stealing £1 million spent on antiques and £3.25 million which went to 19 different destinations.

He was cleared of a fourth count of stealing £2.5 million and using it to pay his income tax bill.

Nadir denied 13 counts of theft of £34 million. The prosecution says these are sample charges representing theft of £150 million from the company.

During the seven month Old Bailey trial, two of the original jurors were discharged through ill health.

The court heard that Nadir fled Britain in 1993 for his native northern Cyprus before he could be tried and returned voluntarily in 2010. He told the court he left because he was "a broken man without hope" and complained about the Serious Fraud Office investigation.

Polly Peck International, a conglomerate dealing in fruit, leisure, textiles and electronics, was one of the success stories of the Thatcher era and one of the best-performing companies on the Stock Exchange - but it collapsed in 1990 with debts of £550 million.

Investigators were said to have found a "black hole" after going to northern Cyprus, where the money had been transferred, the court heard.