Ex-Rangers chief ‘should never have been prosecuted’

Charles Green is to receive a public apology from Lord Advocate James Wolffe.

The former chief executive of Rangers FC is in line for a payout after Scotland’s top law officer admitted he should never have been prosecuted.

Charles Green is to receive a public apology from Lord Advocate James Wolffe after he was arrested for fraud in 2015 over his takeover of the Ibrox club. He also faced charges of conspiracy and an offence under Section 190 of the Companies Act 2006, but the case was later axed.

A letter sent to Mr Green’s solicitors, Jones Whyte LLP of Glasgow, said that damages will also be paid, but the negotiations “would be on the basis of no admission of liability”.

Last week, a judge ordered prosecutors to make an interim payment of £350,000 and £250,000 to Rangers FC administrators David Whitehouse and Paul Clark respectively after Crown lawyers admitted that large parts of a prosecution case against them was “malicious”.

The pair, who worked for consultancy firm Duff & Phelps, were arrested after the club plunged into liquidation in 2012. Both men later saw the charges against them dropped. 

The Lord Advocate had previously denied any wrongdoing, however during a hearing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh last Wednesday, the Lord Advocate’s lawyer admitted the prosecution beyond their initial court appearance was “malicious” and conducted without “probable cause”.

Both Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark are seeking millions of pounds from the Crown Office and Police Scotland for alleged wrongful detention, arrest and prosecution.  

In respect to his own case, Mr Green said: “I understand the letter was received at approximately the same time as the two former administrators of Rangers, Messrs David Whitehouse and Paul Clark of Duff & Phelps, received theirs. 

“I was relieved to hear that the Lord Advocate of Scotland admitted in court that Mr Clark and Mr Whitehouse had been the victims of malicious prosecution by the Crown.  

“I will be making no further comment.”

Following last week’s Court of Session hearing, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said it accepted legal liability in regards to Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark’s case and had “taken steps to prevent a similar situation arising in the future”.

As proceedings remain live, a spokesperson said “it would not be appropriate to comment in further detail at this time”.

In respect to Mr Green’s case, COPFS said it would not be commenting.

Michael McLean, a partner at Jones Whyte, said the admission made by the Lord Advocate “is without precedent”.

He added: “Our focus is now to quantify the significant losses suffered by Mr Green relating to what has been a damaging, traumatic and stressful life event for him.”

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