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The corridors of power...

All the fuss about Asil Nadir's return to Britain brings back some memories. In the late nineties, with Polly Peck falling apart, I was sent out to 'doorstep' various meetings. I quickly discovered that Nadir took a fiendish delight in giving journalists the slip.

Leaving the Serious Fraud Office after an afternoon of interviews, Nadir sent a decoy car in advance, quietly slipping away while the photographers were distracted. He did it again after a meeting of creditors, reversing up a one-way street and speeding away before anyone noticed.

On the day of a crucial board meeting, I spent eight hours (I was counting) standing outside Polly Peck’s head office off Berkeley Square. There was only one obvious exit, yet Nadir got away unnoticed. The building is next to Annabel’s nightclub, and Nadir had a secret route leading to the club’s wine cellar. He simply walked out of the Annabel’s front door, out of sight of photographers.

Nadir has continued his use of decoy cars during his enforced holiday in northern Cyprus. His ultimate trick was to drive to a remote airstrip in Dorset and flit to France by private plane before boarding a private jet for the flight to Cyprus.

He will find it harder to avoid the cameras on his return – assuming he returns on a commercial flight – although Nick Leeson, when he returned from Singapore, was ushered out of a private exit by airport staff, the spoilsports.

Nadir is trying to cut a newspaper deal to help fund his legal costs.

Nadir claims he won’t be able to get a fair trial in Britain. Yet after 10 years in exile, how many jurors would remember anything about Polly Peck, let alone the man who ran it?

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