More MPs linked to Nadir: Attorney General says there were written and oral interventions

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Indy Politics
SEVEN Members of Parliament made representations to the current and former Attorney General over the prosecution of Asil Nadir before he fled Britain, it was revealed yesterday.

Sir Nicholas Lyell QC told David Winnick, the Labour MP for Walsall North, in a Commons written reply that he and his predecessor, Sir Patrick Mayhew - now Secretary of State for Northern Ireland - had received written representations from five MPs about the Polly Peck investigation and prosecution of Nadir on fraud and false accounting charges.

Sir Nicholas could recall oral representations from a further two. None was named in the answer, nor was the content of the representations revealed.

The disclosure follows damaging revelations that approaches were made to four ministers over Serious Fraud Office inquiries into Nadir's multi-million pound Polly Peck empire.

Michael Mates, Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office; Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade; and Peter Brooke, the Secretary of State for National Heritage and Nadir's constituency MP, all raised the investigation with the Attorney General.

A fourth minister, Richard Ryder, the chief whip, declined to intervene after an approach on Nadir's behalf by Christopher Morgan of Morgan and Rogerson, Nadir's public relations consultants.

That leaves the identity of four of the seven MPs mentioned by Sir Nicholas as yet unaccounted for.

The apparent strength of the Parliamentary intervention on Nadir's behalf could refuel the controversy that began with the disclosure that Mr Mates sent the businessman a watch inscribed 'Don't let the buggers get you down' shortly before he jumped pounds 3.5m bail last month.

Mark Rogerson, Mr Morgan's partner in the firm, said last night: 'We are delighted but unfortunately can't claim the credit. Over time we have talked to a lot of people but we cannot think who the others might be.'