The criminal case against former Rangers owner Craig Whyte for failing to provide passwords for various laptops and phones during a financial probe has been dropped.
Whyte, 51, was arrested in December 2021 at Manchester Airport as he travelled in from Portugal.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) alleged that he had failed to comply with a notice to disclose pin passwords to protected information between November 2020 and December last year.
Former Rangers owner Whyte, who faced up to two years in jail if found guilty, appeared at Manchester Crown Court on February 9.
No plea was entered, and a provisional trial date was set for September 13, with the hearing expected to last up to five days.
However, the FCA have now dropped the charges, after it emerged Whyte hadn’t been contacted by his previous lawyers about the statutory notice to hand over the passwords.
In a statement, they said: “The FCA today issued a notice of discontinuance in relation to the prosecution of Craig Whyte who had been charged with an offence of failing to comply with a statutory Notice issued under Section 49 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA 2000).
“The service of the notice terminates the prosecution.
“The decision to end the case was taken after the FCA received new information from Mr Whyte’s previous lawyers which meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of a conviction.
“The new information related to the fact they had not contacted Mr Whyte about the statutory Notice when it was issued.”