Asil Nadir to sue senior law officers: Fugitive plans legal action over alleged conspiracy to implicate him in plot to bribe trial judge. Tim Kelsey reports

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The Independent Online
ASIL NADIR, the fugitive tycoon, is to sue senior law officers alleging that they knew about moves to implicate him in a plot to bribe his trial judge.

It has also been confirmed that senior Tories are reviewing documents and other material that purport to show that the bribery allegations that police investigated were based on fabricated evidence.

The Independent revealed on Saturday that the two key police witnesses to this alleged conspiracy were now saying that they had invented the evidence. The Independent interviewed the two, Michael Francis and Wendy Welsher, in northern Cyprus and has established that the two had contact with senior officers at Scotland Yard and the Serious Fraud Office in connection with Mr Nadir.

Mr Nadir and the two witnesses claim that the police knew that evidence was manufactured. Scotland Yard has refused to comment on these claims except to state that it is satisfied that no police officers have conspired to pervert the course of justice. The Serious Fraud Office has declined to comment at all.

Mr Nadir, the former chairman of Polly Peck who is wanted on charges of theft and false accounting involving about pounds 30m, has always denied allegations of conspiracy to bribe Sir Richard Tucker - the judge who was to hear the case against him. No approach was made to the judge. Mr Nadir said yesterday from northern Cyprus that the legal action is likely to include claims for wrongful arrest.

It is not clear whether the writs will be issued in Mr Nadir's name or whether, as a fugitive from British justice, he can in fact sue any one. He has taken legal advice on this issue, he said. He plans to serve proceedings on Barbara Mills, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Nicholas Lyell, the Attorney General, and senior policemen.

'I principally want to find out how much they knew of this,' he said. 'And how high the matter goes.' Mr Nadir was arrested twice during the course of the police investigation into the bribery allegations. He was never charged.

The Independent has also learnt that senior Tories are examining evidence, including lengthy video statements, produced by Mr Francis and Ms Welsher in which they claim that they manufactured evidence against Mr Nadir.

They intend to call for an independent inquiry and urge John Major to personally examine the allegations made by the two police witnesses.

Mr Francis has a long criminal record and claims that he has worked as a police informer since 1980; Ms Welsher, a businesswoman from north London, had never been a police informer until she allegedly became involved in the Nadir case in 1991. She became such an important witness to the police that she was put under witness protection earlier this year and moved to a safe house in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

Both of them later fled to northern Cyprus. They say they have not been put under any pressure in making their statements and have not benefited financially from doing so.

(Photographs omitted)

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