You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeScotland top law officer has apologised in parliament after it was revealed the Crown Office paid out 24m as a result of a malicious prosecution of two administrators brought in to examine the finances of Rangers.In unprecedented scenes, Lord Advocate James Wolfe faced MSPs at Holyrood to say sorry for the botched criminal investigation which ended up costing the taxpayer millions.David Whitehouse and Paul Clark were arrested and charged in 2014 in relation to their positions as administrators of Rangers.The duo had been brought in to oversee the books at Ibrox in 2012 as Rangers underwent a period of financial crisis.The charges were later dropped and the two men claimed the Crown Office and Police Scotland had subjected them to wrongful detention, arrest and prosecution.The Crown Office later agreed to pay the duo 10.5m each in addition to their legal costs to settle a civil case brought as a result.Read MoreEx Rangers administrator worse than terrorist by cops and in cell with no bed for six days Wolfe, who became Lord Advocate in 2016, told MSPs: “Although those actions concerned events that predated my appointment, it is my responsibility as the current incumbent to account for them.”There are ongoing proceedings related to this matter that constrains what I can say today, but I welcome the fact that I am free to begin the process of public and parliament accountability.”The prosecutions that gave rise to these cases was from police investigations into the purchase of Rangers Football Club by Craig Whyte in 2011, and into the administration and sale of the club to Charles Green in 2012.”These were large and complex investigations, and ultimately seven individuals were prosecuted, but this statement is only concerned with the position of Mr Clark and Mr Whitehouse.”He added: “I cannot at this time disclose in detail the basis on which liability was admitted, but when it is free to do so the Crown Office will disclose the basis in full.”What I can say is there were in this case profound departures from the normal practises.”He continued: “On September 24, 2020, I issued written apologies to Mr Clark and Mr Whitehouse. They should not have been prosecuted, and as the current Lord Advocate and head of the system of criminal prosecutions, I apologise unreservedly that they had been.”I reiterate that apology publicly to Mr Clark and Mr Whitehouse today.”MSPs will debate the fall out from the botched prosecutions tomorrow.Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said: “This case is a dark stain on the reputation of Scotland’s justice system.”Not only will this end up costing taxpayers tens of millions of pounds at a time when our police and courts are in desperate need of resources, but it raises fundamental questions about integrity.”This was not simple human error or an obscure legal mistake. Our prosecution service has admitted that, acting with malice, they sought to throw innocent men behind bars and destroy their reputations.”Nothing could be more deplorable than the state seeking to imprison citizens they know to be innocent..


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