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ICA expels Polly Peck accountant

THE ACCOUNTANT who acted as Asil Nadir's right hand man at the collapsed Polly Peck empire has been dismissed from the Institute of Chartered Accountants five years after criminal charges against him were dropped.

John Turner, the former chief accountant at Polly Peck, was thrown out after the Joint Disciplinary Scheme - the body which regulates the profession - found that Mr Turner's conduct fell below that expected of members due to his involvement in "inappropriate transactions" and the "preparation of inaccurate documents".

Mr Turner admitted 10 charges brought by the tribunal. The sums involved amounted to pounds 7.5m. The charges included covering up the transfer of funds from Polly Peck accounts into Unipac, a Polly Peck subsidiary. Some of these funds were used for Mr Nadir's personal benefit, the tribunal concluded. "Some of the actions had no commercial reason and it must have been clear what was going on," the JDS said.

An 11th complaint - that Mr Turner provided large sums of cash to Mr Nadir from the Unipac account without sufficient documentation - was dismissed.

Expulsion is the most severe penalty available under the institute's rules, although Mr Turner has not been fined. Mr Turner, 59, is now working as a book-keeper.

Mr Turner became chief accountant at Polly Peck in 1986 and stayed with it as it grew to become a FTSE 100 company will a market value of pounds 1.7bn. The business collapsed in 1990 and Mr Nadir subsequently fled to northern Cyprus. Mr Turner had been due to stand trial with the fugitive tycoon.

A separate case is due to be heard against Polly Peck's auditors, Stoy Hayward, next year. The JDS this week imposed a record pounds 750,000 fine against the same firm for its role as auditor into Astra Holdings, the munitions company that collapsed in 1992.