Former Rangers owner drops £500,000 malicious prosecution claim

Whyte took over Rangers in 2011 after purchasing David Murray's shares for £1.

Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte drops £500,000 malicious prosecution claim against Crown Office SNS Group

Craig Whyte has officially dropped a £500,000 claim from the Crown Office over what he said was a malicious prosecution.

The former Rangers owner, who was in charge of the Ibrox club from 2011 until they went into administration and then liquidation a year later, launched the move after fees were awarded in relation to wrongful prosecutions to others involved in the case.

Whyte, who was arrested in 2015 and charged with taking over the club by fraud, was seeking half a million after being acquitted of the charges by a jury following a seven-week trial in 2017.

He claimed the prosecution was “malicious” and launched a bid to sue the KC involved in the case over loss of earnings and damage to reputation.

But he has now dropped the claim after another former Rangers director was unsuccessful in a similar case.

The 51-year-old was seeking settlements similar to those paid to Charles Green – who led the group that purchased the club following financial meltdown in 2012 – and administrators David Whitehouse and Paul Clark.

Green received £6.4m in compensation after being arrested over the purchase but never standing trial, while Whitehouse and Clark combined settlements reached over £20m.

The Crown Office admitted the pair, who worked for administrators Duff and Phelps, had been the target of malicious prosecution attempts.

The BBC now reports that solicitor general Ruth Charteris KC, wrote a letter to Holyrood’s criminal justice committee and confirmed Whyte’s lawyers had ceased the action.

The case was disposed of by the Court of Session last week.

Ms Charteris wrote: “On March 15, 2023 Mr Whyte’s agents contacted SGLD [Scottish Government Legal Directorate] proposing a disposal of his action.

“On May 2, 2023 the court issued the final interlocutor absolving the Lord Advocate from the conclusion of the summons and finding no expenses due to or by any party. The proceedings in this action are now formally at an end.

“Both the Lord Advocate and I are committed to further accountability and a process of inquiry once all legal proceedings have concluded.”

Whyte took over from David Murray at Ibrox, after buying his shares for £1 and agreeing to take on the accompanied debt, before a series of financial irregularities led to them being deducted ten points for going into administration over unpaid debts and a huge tax bill.

Administrators Whitehouse and Clark were appointed to take over the club which was then put into liquidation and kicked out of the Premiership.

The pair were arrested two years later but all charges were later dropped and both men were awarded £10.5m each in damages after the crown agreed their prosecution was “malicious”.

Rangers played in the old Third Division, Scotland’s fourth tier, from 2012 and spent four years in the wilderness before being promoted to the top flight in 2016.

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