Nadir sets out to enjoy first full day in UK

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The Independent Online

Asil Nadir was settling back into life in Britain today after returning to face £34 million fraud charges following 17 years on the run.

The wealthy businessman and his wife Nur spent their first night in the rented luxury house in Mayfair in London where he must live under stringent bail conditions.

The couple emerged from the property just before 10am today looking confident and relaxed.

Nadir, 69, wore a blue double-breasted suit, perhaps slightly crumpled from his flight from Northern Cyprus back to the UK yesterday, with a silk handkerchief and latticed leather slip-on shoes.

In his left hand he clutched a pair of aviator-style sunglasses, rather optimistically given the damp grey skies over London, and in his other hand he carried a briefcase.

His wife wore a tight-fitting black designer dress ruffled at the front and split to the thigh, accessorised with a distinctive black-and-white scarf and what appeared to be a £1,100 black Marcello de Cartier handbag.

Nadir smiled for the photographers waiting outside the house, which is reportedly costing him £20,000 a month to rent, before being escorted by his bodyguards to a waiting car.

The tycoon is expected to hold meetings with his lawyers, who include leading criminal defence barrister William Clegg QC, ahead of a case management hearing at the Old Bailey on September 3.

Nadir was facing 66 counts of theft relating to the collapse of his Polly Peck empire when he fled Britain in May 1993 for Northern Cyprus, which has no extradition treaty with the UK.

He flew back yesterday to face the fraud charges, insisting he was innocent and had not done a "deal" with the British authorities.

The former Conservative Party donor refused to rule out giving more money to the new Government, telling Sky News: "We will see how life goes. We've got a little injustice to sort out."

Earlier this year, Nadir's legal team indicated he was willing to return to face trial in Britain as long as he was granted bail.

The Serious Fraud Office agreed not to oppose bail in return for stringent conditions.

Under the terms of his £250,000 bail, the businessman must hand over his newly-issued British passport, wear an electronic tag and report weekly to a local police station.

Nadir appears anxious to maintain good relations with the British media.

Members of his security team brought out black tea, served in fine china cups and saucers, for the gaggle of photographers waiting outside his house in Mayfair this morning.

Labour MP John Spellar challenged the Tories to disclose whether they had ever repaid the "substantial" donations which Nadir was reported to have made to the party in the 1990s.

In a letter to party chairman Baroness Warsi, he said: "If the Conservative Party has not made any repayment in the past, does it have any plans to do so in future?"

He also asked whether the Conservatives would be prepared to make available any documentation to the authorities investigating the collapse of Polly Peck.