JUSTICE: Lord Mulholland gives evidence in Rangers damages case

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland
Frank Mulholland was Scotland’s lord advocate from 2011 to 2016 and is now a senior judge

A senior judge has been giving evidence in the £7m damages case brought by business expert David Grier over his prosecution in the Rangers fraud probe.

Lord Mulholland, who is now a High Court judge, was the head of Scotland’s prosecution service at the time Mr Grier was charged in 2014.

The former lord advocate denied having his “hand on the tiller” of the doomed Rangers investigation.

He said other Crown lawyers made the key decisions in the investigation.

At the Court of Session, Lord Mulholland told lawyers that his role as lord advocate was limited to providing colleagues with advice and asking the Scottish government for more money for the inquiry.

Mr Grier – who works for international financial services firm Duff & Phelps – is suing the current Lord Advocate, James Wolffe, pictured left, and Police Scotland claiming that prosecutors had no evidence to justify him being arrested and charged.

The legal actions stems from a police probe surrounding Rangers’ financial position during and after the sale of the club to businessman Craig Whyte in 2011.

Mr Grier was one of a number of men arrested during the investigation but subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Crown Office has already admitted that two other Duff & Phelps employees, David Whitehouse and Paul Clark, were subjected to “malicious” prosecutions over their role in events at Rangers.

They have received damages from the Crown Office of £10.5m each and £3m in legal expenses.

The Crown has also admitted that there was a malicious prosecution against Charles Green, who led a consortium which took over Rangers in 2012.

Day to day involvement

On Friday, Lord Mulholland told lawyers that Jim Keegan QC was appointed as the prosecutor in charge of the investigation in October 2014.

Lord Mulholland added: “I didn’t have day to day involvement in it but I was available.”

Mr Grier’s lawyer Andrew Smith QC made reference to a comment made by a fellow judge Lord Malcolm who had heard evidence about the probe in an earlier case.

The judge had been told by lawyers acting for current Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC that Lord Mulholland had his hands “on the tiller” throughout the investigation.

Lord Mulholland said: “It’s not a phrase I would use. The direction of the prosecution was run by Jim Keegan and by the prosecution team. I had an advisory role.”

The hearing, before judge Lord Tyre, continues on Tuesday.

One comment

  1. So £26 million paid out to two individuals already in damages awards plus legal expenses. And another two damages claims to go.

    Factor in the Crown and the Police’s costs in bringing the malicious prosecution and the cost of this democratic disgrace must be of the order of £50 million to the tax payer. And did you note the Lord Advocate Mullholland’s response .

    Like Nicola Sturgeon, it wisnae me, didn’t know anything about it. Malicious prosecution. Sorry not my bag, I was only head of the Crown prosecution service.

    And now, repeat repeat, Alex Salmond is suing the Scottish Government for damages through Leslie Evans for its illegal and biased action taken against him.

    What an utter disgrace sectarian and politically biased prosecution is in Scotland. The Crown Office, Scotland’s very own blackshirt service reminiscent of the SNPZI party.

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