Lord Mulholland, the Lord Advocate and Russell Findlay, shadow community minister.
By Bill Heaney
BBC Scotland is reporting that litigation costs in Rangers’ wrongful prosecution scandal have exceeded £50 million, a parliamentary committee heard.
Compensation payments were made after several people involved in the administration and acquisition of the football club were wrongly prosecuted.
A judge-led inquiry into the matter is to take place once outstanding legal proceedings have concluded.
The Scottish Parliament’s Criminal Justice Committee heard costs had increased to “just under £51m”.
The cost is described in government accounts as “involvement with civil litigation brought against the Lord Advocate by individuals prosecuted in connection with the acquisition and administration of Rangers Football Club”.
Administrators David Whitehouse and Paul Clark were appointed administrators when the company that ran Rangers went into administration in 2012.
They were arrested in 2014 but all charges were later dropped.
The Crown has since said their prosecution was “malicious” and both men were awarded £10.5m each in damages.
The previous Lord Advocate also admitted former chief executive Charles Green and former director Imran Ahmad should never have been prosecuted, with Mr Green receiving more than £6m in compensation plus legal costs.
Addressing committee members, John Logue from the Crown Office said: “As of yesterday, the stage at which the litigation had reached has now reached the point where the costs have increased to just under £51m.”
The Scottish government has previously said the costs would not be met from the Crown Office budget.
Mr Logue was responding to a question by Scottish Conservatives shadow community safety minister Russell Findlay.
After the meeting, Mr Findlay said the figures were “shocking”.
“While it’s reassuring to hear that this won’t come from Crown budgets – it is a huge sum that should have been spent on vital public services,” he said.
“This toxic episode saw innocent men targeted, it has contaminated Scottish justice and there may be more pay outs, yet absolutely no-one has been held to account.”