Court to decide fate of pounds 2m surety

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The Independent Online
THE ADMINISTRATORS of Polly Peck and the trustee in bankruptcy of Asil Nadir are set to clash in court today over who should receive Mr Nadir's pounds 2m surety following the tycoon's flight to Cyprus.

Both the administrators, led by Chris Morris of Touche Ross, and the trustee Neil Cooper of Robson Rhodes, want the money; Mr Morris to pay the creditors of Polly Peck, which went bust owing pounds 1.3bn, and Mr Cooper to pay Mr Nadir's personal creditors.

Both sets of accountants will be represented at a preparatory hearing at the Old Bailey, originally set up to settle points of law for Mr Nadir's trial set to start on 13 September.

Mr Nadir's flight at the end of April means that the hearing will now have to decide what to do about his pounds 3.5m bail and the future conduct of his trial. The Serious Fraud Office had charged him on 12 counts of theft.

Legal sources have described suggestions that he may be tried in his absence as 'absolute rubbish'. Ramadan Guney, the wealthy Turkish Cypriot cemetery owner, stood surety for pounds 1m of the bail, Mr Nadir's former wife, Ayesha, another pounds 500,000, and another pounds 2m was lodged with Mr Nadir's solicitors.

Mr Guney is likely to claim that by alerting the authorties of the danger of Mr Nadir absconding he should not forfeit his surety.

Mr Nadir will be represented by Peter Lakin of the Manchester-based solicitors Pannone and Partners.

Another problem the administrators want to resolve urgently is that Mr Nadir has not officially been made bankrupt in Turkey. This may make it easier for him if he returns to Turkey and attempts to resume his control of the Polly Peck operations there, as the administrators had expected to secure those assets and sell them on behalf of creditors.