Michael Brown pictured in December 2007: (Pic Paul Grover/ Rex Features)
A former donor to the Liberal Democrats is to be tried for fraud in his absence after he skipped bail.
A warrant was issued last month for the arrest of businessman Michael Brown, whose firm gave more than £2m to the Liberal Democrats.
Mr Brown, 42, is accused of a number of offences including money laundering.
Southwark Crown Court Judge Wadsworth decided his absence was "voluntary" and the trial would proceed. He also ruled he should be granted legal aid.
The court heard that private funding for his legal team had run out.
Glasgow-born Mr Brown, who lived in Hampstead, north-west London, will now face trial on 15 September.