Charles Green: Prosecution of former Rangers chief was 'malicious', Lord Advocate's lawyer admits

The prosecution of former Rangers chief executive Charles Green was 'malicious with no proper basis', a representative of the Lord Advocate admitted

The prosecution of former Rangers chief executive Charles Green was 'malicious with no proper basis', a representative of the Lord Advocate admitted.

Charles Green, 67, was arrested five years ago for charges connected to the "alleged fraudulent acquisition" of the club in 2012, but the prosecution was later abandoned.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mr Green and others were subjected to criminal proceedings in the wake of Craig Whyte's purchase of Rangers from Sir David Murray for £1 and its subsequent sale before a judge dismissed the charges.

Former Rangers chief executive Charles Green leaves court surrounded by police on September 2, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Former Rangers chief executive Charles Green leaves court surrounded by police on September 2, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

At the Court of Session, Gerry Moynihan QC, for the Lord Advocate, said the attempted prosecution of Mr Green was not on a proper basis and was 'malicious'.

Mr Moynihan said: "It is admitted that the prosecution of Mr Green had no proper basis. It is admitted there has never been objective probable cause.

"And it is admitted that in these circumstances malice, in the sense required to give rise to liability in common law, can be inferred.

"The import of all of that is the Lord Advocate acknowledges that there has been a malicious prosecution in the sense in which that term is used in our law.

Green was the chairman of Scottish football club Rangers from 2012 to 2013 and was arrested along with two others, Craig Whyte and David Whitehouse, on charges of fraudulently acquiring ownership of the club. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

"And accordingly there is liability in damages to Mr Green."

Mr Green has maintained that the wrongful arrest and prosecution ruined his life.

It is understood he is seeking damages in the region of £20 million.

Garry Borland QC, representing Mr Green, said: "A public admission that Mr Green has been subject to a malicious prosecution, represents a shameful episode in the history of the prosecution services in Scotland.

The Lord Advocate has already admitted malicious prosecution of the former administrators of Rangers in connection with the collapsed club fraud case.

In an unprecedented development the Lord Advocate also admitted a breach of human rights in the investigation which has led to the former administrators conducting a multi-million pound damages claim to clear their names.

David Whitehouse and Paul Clark, who were joint administrators at the Ibrox club in 2012 following its takeover by Craig Whyte, have already been awarded a huge interim expenses award of £350,000 and £250,000 respectively by Lord Tyre.

The damages cases come three years after former Rangers owner Craig Whyte was acquitted of taking over the club by fraud at the end of a seven-week trial.

Mr Whitehouse, of Cheshire, subsequently brought a damages claim against the Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC and the former chief constable of Police Scotland, Phil Gormley, for £9m. Mr Clark, of Surrey, sued for £5m.

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.

Mr Green is suing the Lord Advocate saying the prosecution of him never had any "proper basis" and that it was conducted "without probable cause, in other words it was unjustifiable and should never have been pursued".

The case was adjourned.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.