Jurors in the eight-month trial of former tycoon Asil Nadir who is accused of stealing millions from the Polly Peck business empire yesterday retired to consider their verdicts.
Nadir, 71, is accused of stealing £34m from his company Polly Peck International, which collapsed in 1990 owing £550m.
He left the UK for his native Northern Cyprus in 1993, but returned in 2010 to face trial at the Old Bailey.
Nadir faces 13 counts of theft between 1987 and 1990. Prosecutors claim he siphoned off millions through a complex series of transactions, using the money to make himself, his family and associates rich.
He denies all charges, and claimed any withdrawals made from company accounts were repaid into banks in Northern Cyprus.
PPI’s headquarters was in Berkeley Square, central London, and the company had trading centres from Hong Kong to New York.
Nadir, of Mayfair, central London, insisted that millions of pounds could be moved around with only his signature as authorisation.
He told the court that he only ever acted for the good of the company, and that it was placed into administration in his absence.
He said he fled the UK because he was “a broken man without hope” but had to return, despite doctor’s orders, because he could not live “with injustice”.