By Paul Thornton
FORMER Hearts striker Christian Nade claims he gave two luxury cars – for which he is being chased in the courts for payment – to a motor museum.
A finance company is suing the 25-year-old footballer for payment on two cars thought to be a Lamborghini Gallardo and a Cadilac Station Wagon that he hired.
They are chasing the Frenchman through the courts for missed payments on the vehicles and want an undisclosed amount of money or the cars back.
But at Edinburgh Sheriff Court a solicitor acting for the striker said that he had given them to the London Motor Museum on the understanding that they would “make some sort of settlement” on the vehicles.
Neil Stewart told the court: “I understand from the principal agent that there had been some sort of agreement in that the London Motor Museum now have the vehicles in question in this matter or had undertaken to carry out some sort of settlement or had been expected by the defender (Nade) to perform some sort of obligation that would have discharged him from his liability.”
Mr Stewart said that Nade’s legal advisors were investigating a “suspected fraud” which would help his defence.
He said: “The principal solicitor dealing with this is in the process of carrying out further investigations for a suspected fraud which would have a bearing on the defence of this matter.”
But Lombard North Central – the company who had the agreement with the player – said that they had no part in any of the deals and insisted that Nade should still stump-up the cash.
Acting for the finance firm, Andrew Foyle said: “Any agreement between Mr Nade and a third party is a matter for Mr Nade and the third party.
“My client is not party to that and their contract is with Mr Nade. It is Mr Nade that has liability to make payment.”
And – Mr Foyle said – one of the vehicles was already in Spain, which is thought to breach the strict rules of Nade’s lease agreement.
He said: “One of the vehicles we already know is in Spain, one of the vehicles is potentially with a motor museum although the exact location is unknown.
“The company wishes to recover the vehicles as soon as possible.”
Mr Foyle asked Sheriff James Scott to make a decree ordering payment of the money or return of the vehicles.
However Nade’s legal team said that the player had been out of the country for three weeks and asked for extra time to defend the matter.
He said: “Mr Nade is required to provide a mandate to the DVLA but is at this time out of the country.
“He has been out of the country for three weeks, I do not have a specific date when he is returning.”
Nade joined Heart of Midlothian from Sheffield Utd in 2007 but had a mixed spell in the SPL and was released this year.