Ex-Rangers chairman accepts £6.3m payout from Lord Advocate

Charles Green's settlement follows a multi-million-pound payout which was made to David Whitehouse and Paul Clark.

Ex-Rangers chairman accepts £6.3m payout from Lord Advocate SNS Group

Former Rangers chairman Charles Green has accepted a £6.39m settlement from prosecutors for being wrongfully prosecuted. 

Lawyers acting for the Lord Advocate offered the businessman a total of £6,393,046 hours before his case was due to start at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Mr Green’s legal team were due to begin an eight-day hearing at the court to determine how much their client should receive for being the victim of a malicious prosecution. 

Mr Green and several other men were arrested as part of a doomed probe into allegations of wrongdoing at the Scottish champions. 

All men were acquitted and Mr Green received an apology from previous Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC for what happened to him. 

However, lawyers acting for Scotland’s most senior prosecutor Dorothy Bain QC agreed to settle the action and also pay Mr Green’s legal costs which weren’t disclosed.

The settlement follows a multi-million-pound payout which was made earlier this year to business experts David Whitehouse and Paul Clark, who were also arrested during the investigation. 

On Tuesday, Mr Green’s lawyer, Garry Borland QC, told judge Lord Tyre that his client could still claim more money from the Crown Office. 

Mr Borland also said a forthcoming public inquiry on the probe and failed prosecution would want to examine the circumstances surrounding Mr Green’s arrest.

He said: “Mr Green was the victim of an egregious wrong at the hands of the prosecuting authorities. 

“The proof this morning was fixed to deal with the quantification of claims against the Lord Advocate. 

“Last night my lord, the Lord Advocate made an offer to settle this case in the form of a judicial tender in the amount of £6,393,046 plus payment of Mr Green’s legal costs by the taxed process of expenses to date. 

“That offer of settlement by the Lord Advocate which was made overnight my lord, is something I took instructions on this morning and Mr Green is content to accept that settlement offer and I therefore move the court this morning to grant decree in favour of Mr Green. 

“Therefore, I move for decree against the Lord Advocate in favour of Mr Green in the amount of £6,393,046 plus the expense of process to date. 

“My lord there maybe questions about the scale of expenses and an application of an additional fee but I am content to simply reserve my position on those matters for the time being and if the applications are made they can be dealt with by the court at a later date.

“In conclusion, at this stage it will be for the public inquiry to examine how this malicious prosecution of Mr Green could possibly be allowed to happen. 

“But at this stage, I would simply thank this court for its handling of these civil proceedings.”

The 67-year-old businessman was arrested with several other men following a police probe into the sale of the current Scottish champions to businessman Craig Whyte. 

Mr Green was part of a consortium which acquired the business assets of Rangers in 2012 and later became the club’s chief executive officer – he stepped down the following year.

In 2015, Mr Green and five others, including Imran Ahmad, were charged with serious organised crime offences in relation to the acquisition of the club.

But they were all acquitted and earlier this year Mr Green received an apology from the former Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC.

The Crown Office told Mr Green that he’d receive damages for being arrested and wrongfully prosecuted. 

The cases brought by Mr Green come in the light of admissions made by the Crown in another case brought by businessmen David Whitehouse and Paul Clark. 

Prosecutors admitted Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark were wrongfully arrested and prosecuted. The two men sought a total of £20.8m from the Crown Office and Police Scotland, but they later settled their action with each of them receiving £10.3m each. Their legal bills, thought to be worth £3m each, were also paid for. 

Earlier this year, lawyers for Mr Green said their client had experienced a “damaging, traumatic and stressful life event” as a consequence of being arrested.

Mr Green’s lawyers also sued Police Scotland, but the action against the force was dropped. 

But Mr Green’s and the Lord Advocate’s legal teams weren’t able to agree how much he should receive for the malicious prosecution. 

The hearing was due to start on Tuesday and was supposed to resolve the matter. 

On Tuesday, the Lord Advocate’s counsel, Gerry Moynihan QC, confirmed the settlement to the court. 

He told Lord Tyre: “There is no opposition to what my learned friend has made by way of motions and it would not be appropriate for me to add anything or comment. 

“No doubt some of these matters may be revisited in the event that the motion is made in relation to scale of expenses or additional fee.

“But at this stage today, I would wish to say nothing but to associate myself with the gratitude of the court – in particular for the accommodation this morning whilst we sorted out some of the details. 

“I am grateful to my lord.”

Lord Tyre thanked the lawyers for their submissions. 

He added: “Obviously for my part, I am happy that the case has settled. 

“I could grumble about the fact that it took for the morning of the proof and therefore it would have saved me some work if this happened last week, but in the circumstances I shall refrain from doing so.

“I will accede to the motion for decree for the sum stated £6,393,046 plus taxed expenses and reserve all other matters if necessary to a later date. 

“For my part, I wish to thank counsel and those behind you for achieving a settlement. 

“I am pleased about that and thank you to the agents for the work which went into the preparations for the proof. 

“I think there’s nothing further to be said this morning.”

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