JUSTICE: Police chief backs calls for inquiry into Rangers prosecutions

Paul Clark and David Whitehouse were recently awarded £10.5m in damages. Top: Police Scotland chief constable Iain Livingstone.

By Rory Murphy

Police Scotland chief constable Iain Livingstone has said he supports calls for an inquiry into the malicious prosecutions of former Rangers FC administrators Paul Clark and David Whitehouse.

Mr Clark and Mr Whitehouse were recently awarded £10.5m in damages for their indictment in 2014 following their involvement in the administration of the Glasgow club in 2012, for which all charges were later dismissed or dropped.

Lord Advocate James Wolffe, who was not in post at the time of the prosecution, this week apologised in parliament and also backed calls by the Scottish Conservatives for an independent judge-led inquiry into what went wrong, conceding the judge may come from outwith Scotland.

Mr Livingstone has now also leant his support to calls for an inquiry, as he appeared before the Public Audit and Post Legislative Scrutiny Committee at Holyrood on Thursday.

“I shared the levels of concern that were expressed and I also share what was the will of Parliament that the role of Police Scotland would be included with any judicial inquiry that is then established.

“I give my full commitment to participate fully with that, I agree that there should be an inquiry into the circumstances and I give my commitment that the Police Service of Scotland will contribute to and cooperate fully with any inquiry that arises.”

Mr Livingstone also said he had authorised a financial settlement for both men, although he was not allowed to say how much it was.

“I’m not allowed to say anything in more detail than that.”

Mr Livingstone went on to say he did not need to seek authorisation for the payment from the Scottish Police Authority as it amounted to less than £75,000, which he has the power to sign off on – however he did not give an exact number.

Meanwhile, the former Lord Advocate has pushed back on what he said were “false and scandalous” attacks on him in parliament.

Frank Mulholland was Lord Advocate at the time of the malicious prosecution.

A statement from Lord Mulholland’s lawyer said: “In light of the unfounded personal attack made on my client in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, he requires to take the unusual step of responding publicly to the false and scandalous statements made under the protection of parliamentary privilege.”

The statement did not elaborate on which statements Lord Mulholland deemed to be a personal attack.

2 comments

  1. So the Police have had to pay compensation to two individuals who were maliciously prosecuted.

    All part of a recurring trend of Police corruption towards individuals. Taken along with a corrupt COPFS it is little wonder that folks no longer have confidence in the integrity of the police and justice system.

    Fit up, stitch up, is their trade.

  2. And talking about stitch up it extends beyond the Rangers administrators.

    Yes, we know that Police Scotland spent about £2m pounds trying to stitch up Alex Salmond, and that more money again was spent on dawn raids and charges against journalists Craig Murray, and Mark Hirst .

    But there are the other cases of police selectivity of who they pursue – such as Margaret Ferrier MP who traveled home from London to be charged three months later by Police Scotland whereas the Met investigated her took no action – whilst later on Boris Johnson MP travelled to Scotland on a campaign visit to save the union and he was exempt.

    Yes it’s all a recurring trend of a police force selectively weaponised for political ends and the chief constable knows it.

    But look behind a more local incident to the tragedy of the Cameron House fire. Nearly three years it took before the criminally negligent Cameron House operators were brought to court and fined in relative terms a modest £500,000. Yes they failed against specific fire safety advice to have a safe system for ash disposal.

    But what of the building regulations, the public safety operating certificate that allowed this hotel to operate. Like Grenfell the Cameron House had cavities in the walls that were conduits for the small cupboard fire to spread into the timber floor and roof spaces thereby engulfing the entire building in literally minutes.

    Yes the Police and Crown pursued the negligent hotel operator and the hapless porter. But what of the regulations. Where are the Scottish Government on this. Not a dickie bird do I hear people say!

    So why no criticism of the defective building fire safety regulations which were the cause of this small cupboard fire engulfing the building so quickly. Maybe someone should ask that question. But would they get an answer. Someone’s been done for the Crime, move on, the stage managed theatre is over.

    All part of a trend I’m afraid, all linked.

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