Nadir expected to mount legal challenge

The British-based liquidators of Asil Nadir's collapsed business empire are bracing themselves for a legal challenge from Mr Nadir now that he has flown to Turkey, his first trip outside northern Cyprus since fleeing there from Britain four years ago.

Privately British officials were doubtful yesterday that Mr Nadir could be extradited from Turkey. Britain has no extradition treaty with Turkey, but the Turkish Government do normally hand over wanted suspects under a Council of Europe agreement.

There were reports in Istanbul yesterday that suggested the Turkish authorities would be unlikely to send Mr Nadir back to Britain.

The Serious Fraud Office reiterated last week that it would still like Mr Nadir to face fraud charges worth over pounds 30m relating to the collapse of his electronics to fruit empire seven years ago.

Yesterday liquidators from Coopers & Lybrand said they suspected that Mr Nadir had flown to Istanbul in order to launch a legal challenge to Coopers' proposed sale of the very last bits of his former empire.

These consist of two Polly Peck subsidiaries, Meyna and Unipac, which produce cardboard boxes for the Mediterranean fruit market.

Chris Barlow, who has headed Cooper's liquidation team since Polly Peck went bust, said: "We have battled through the courts for six and a half years to sell off all the companies in order to realise the money owed to creditors, and these are the last two."

He added: "Now we fear more problems from Mr Nadir. In the past he's launched over 30 legal actions trying to stop us selling Polly Peck companies."

Mr Barlow pointed out that it was the creditors of the Polly Peck empire who lost out every time Mr Nadir delayed these sales.