Tycoon Nadir granted legal aid
Asil Nadir, the former fugitive businessman facing trial for the alleged theft of £34 million, has been granted legal aid.
The Legal Services Commission said that Nadir, whose trial is due to begin next January, had his finances assessed before the decision was made and will still make a "substantial" contribution to his own legal costs.
Nadir was arrested in 1990 following the collapse of his Polly Peck business empire.
He fled Britain for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1993 before his trial could take place, returning in August last year. He is accused of 13 counts of false accounting, alleging theft from Polly Peck.
A Legal Services Commission (LSC) spokeswoman said: "Asil Nadir has recently been granted legal aid to fund his defence in his upcoming fraud trial.
"His income was assessed before he was granted legal aid - in line with the means testing regime introduced in crown courts in 2010.
"Asil Nadir will have to make a substantial monthly contribution towards his legal costs. In addition, we are currently investigating his capital assets.
"If Asil Nadir is found guilty at his crown court trial, he may be required to pay a further contribution from his capital assets.
"The legal aid funding will be managed under a case plan by a specialist team at the Legal Services Commission and the costs incurred will be closely monitored. The legal aid rates paid by the LSC for these cases range from £30 - £145 per hour. This is considerably lower than most solicitor firms charge privately."
A pre-trial hearing is due to take place on November 10 before the trial at the Old Bailey, set to last up to four months, begins two months later. Nadir is on conditional bail.