I'm penniless, Nadir tells court

Banbury Cake: Former business tycoon Asil Nadir, who was found guilty of stealing nearly £29 million, claimed to be penniless Former business tycoon Asil Nadir, who was found guilty of stealing nearly £29 million, claimed to be penniless

Former fugitive business tycoon Asil Nadir, convicted of stealing nearly £29 million, claimed to be penniless.

Nadir, 71, was jailed for 10 years a month ago after being found guilty of 10 charges of theft amounting to £28.8 million from his Polly Peck business empire in the late 1980s.

He returned to the Old Bailey to face a compensation hearing where he said he had no assets but Philip Shears QC, prosecuting, called his claims a "sham" and claims that he was reliant on the generosity of friends and family as "an affront to common sense".

Trial judge Mr Justice Holroyde will decide if there are any assets to provide compensation to the administrators of Polly Peck International and will try to recover the costs of the prosecution and legal aid for the trial.

The top performing Stock Exchange company collapsed in 1990 owing £550 million.

The amount he stole is the equivalent of £61.6 million today. The prosecution said it was part of £150 million taken from the company.

Nadir, who was said to have stolen out of pure greed, returned to the UK two years ago after spending 17 years on the run in Northern Cyprus.

He was ordered to provide details of his finances and assets under a Financial Circumstances Order before the hearing but the court heard he had failed to make "full and frank disclosure".

Nadir's second wife, Nur, 28, who had been by his side throughout the trial, was not in court. She is believed to have returned to Cyprus.

Nadir had said that after his bankruptcy in 1992, he has been "wholly reliant on the generosity of family and associates" who paid for his and his wife's lifestyle, personal staff and for litigation.

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