Ex-Rangers administrators settle wrongful arrest claim

David Whitehouse and Paul Clark had been suing Police Scotland and the Crown Office for more than £20m.

Ex-Rangers administrators settle wrongful arrest claim SNS Group

Two former administrators who were wrongfully arrested during a Rangers fraud investigation have settled their multi-million pound claims against Police Scotland. 

Lawyers acting for David Whitehouse and Paul Clark told judge Lord Tyre on Wednesday that they were no longer suing the chief constable. 

The two men, who worked for administrators Duff & Phelps, launched a £20.8m compensation claim against the police and prosecutors over their arrests in a “unlawful” criminal probe at the Glasgow club. 

Lawyers for the Crown Office have previously admitted the two men were the subject of a “malicious” prosecution. 

But during a virtual hearing at the Court of Session, Police Scotland’s advocate Alastair Duncan QC told Lord Tyre that his clients had come to a “mutually beneficial” resolution, although the compensation sum wasn’t disclosed.

The two men are still suing the Crown Office, however the court also heard that Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark are due to enter into a mediation process with prosecutors . 

Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark were arrested following events surrounding Rangers’s financial position last decade. 

The two men were appointed administrators in February 2012. The club’s parent company was liquidated in October 2012 and both Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark left their positions. 

Police then arrested Mr Whitehouse and charged him with offences relating to businessman Craig Whyte’s takeover of Rangers in 2011. Both men later saw the charges against them dropped. 

It was claimed that there wasn’t any justification for their detention, committal or prosecution and that the Crown never had sufficient evidence for any of the charges it brought.

Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark won a ruling from a specially convened bench of five judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh last year that the Lord Advocate did not have absolute immunity from a civil damages claim in such circumstances.

Earlier this year, Crown lawyer Gerry Moynihan QC told the court that the Crown were now admitting liability for wrongdoing in parts of the prosecution. 

Mr Moynihan said his client accepted that the two men’s rights under article five of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated during the prosecution. 

The violation referred to how they were detained in custody following their arrest before their first appearance in court. Article five of the ECHR relates to the right to liberty and security. 

Mr Moynihan said the two men’s right to a private life had been breached in relation to a press release which had been sent out in February 2016. Mr Moynihan also said the Crown admitted that it acted unlawfully in its prosecution beyond the two men’s first appearance in court. 

Another hearing will take place at the Court of Session in December.

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