FOOTBALL AND FINANCE: ‘No criminal conduct’ in Rangers probe, says Crown Office

Lord Advocate James Wolffe, Roddy Dunlop QC and, above, the Court of Session.

By Lucy Ashton

Scotland’s most senior law officer, Lord Advocate James Wolffe, has said there was no criminal misconduct in the failed fraud probe relating to the sale of Rangers FC.

Five men, including the Ibrox club’s former chief executive Charles Green, faced charges that were later dropped.

Two of the men, administrators David Whitehouse and Paul Clark, won a Crown Office pay-out for wrongful arrest.

Mr Whitehouse now wants to pass on details from the civil case to any future investigations into the saga.

Along with Mr Clark, he was appointed when the company which ran Rangers went into administration in 2012.

The businessmen were arrested in 2014 but lawyers acting for the Crown later admitted much of the prosecution against them was conducted without “probable cause” and the charges were “malicious”.

Both men launched a £20.8m claim for compensation over their arrests which has since been settled.

At a hearing at the Court of Session, the Crown Office said it had, in principle, no objection to Mr Whitehouse making further complaints.

Witness statements

But Gerry Moynihan QC, acting on behalf of the Lord Advocate, James Wolffe, added: “The investigations undertaken for the purposes of these actions that were under the direction of the Lord Advocate, and carried out by a team led by me, have to date disclosed no criminal conduct.”

Roddy Dunlop QC, acting for Mr Whitehouse, said the businessman wanted answers about why he was arrested, given that the Crown has since said the arrests were malicious.

He said: “Mr Whitehouse, frankly, wants to know why that happened.

“There’s every possibility that there’s going to be a public inquiry into that. If there is an inquiry, Mr Whitehouse wants to participate fully in that.

“If there’s not, and in any event, Mr Whitehouse wants to bring his concerns to the appropriate authorities by way of complaint and demand for investigation into how on earth this happened.”

Mr Moynihan told the court that the information given to Mr Whitehouse was provided to him on the basis of the civil action.

He said that the information came from witness statements.

The Crown Office needed time, Mr Moynihan added, for the people who gave these statements to be spoken to in order to see if they objected to Mr Whitehouse’s request.

Another hearing is expected to take place on 15 March.

One comment

  1. Funny ha ha – to say that there was no criminal conduct because of course there was.

    How can you pay two people £20.8 million compensation for a wrong and malicious and then say it wasn’t criminal. A bit like sticking the knife into someone and then admitting it was wrong and malicious but not criminal.

    And then there’s the attempted stitch up of Alex Salmond. Acquitted absolutely. And the journalist Mark Hirst – aquitted with no charges to answer.

    Simple, inescapable truth is that the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal, the Lord Advocate and the Police are corrupt. The legal system in Scotland is an utter disgrace.

    Poor wee stinking Scotland, who’s like us eh?

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