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Green Bowls Crown...


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...but not The Polis, which fights on, disputing  both liabilty, and consequential damages.

 

The Crown has admitted  "malicious prosecution", which indicates that its action was not a genuine error, which indicates that there was some shady motive behind it, which indicates that there should be dismissals, if not prosecutions, for misconduct in public office (or somesuch), which indicates that there should be some formal inquiry into the fiasco. 

Perhaps, however, we should refrain from holding our breaths. 

 

 

Rangers case: Crown was wrong to take action against Charles Green, prosecutor admits

James Mulholland

Thursday November 12 2020, 12.01am, The Times

 

Charles Green is seeking £20 million in damages from the Crown Office and Police Scotland

 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/scotland/rangers-case-crown-was-wrong-to-take-action-against-charles-green-prosecutor-admits-jv50ttg2j

 

Charles Green, the former Rangers executive, has received a courtroom admission of wrongdoing from Scotland’s most senior prosecutor over his “malicious” arrest during a fraud claims investigation.

The 67-year-old businessman was told at the Court of Session that prosecutors should have never taken legal action against him.

His lawyer, Garry Borland, QC, called the fraud investigation a “shameful episode” in the history of the Crown Office.

Mr Green has gone to Scotland’s highest civil court in an attempt to recover £20 million in damages from the Crown Office and Police Scotland.

He was arrested five years ago over the “alleged fraudulent acquisition” of the club in 2012 but the prosecution was later abandoned.

Yesterday lawyers acting for the current Lord Advocate, James Wolffe, QC, told judge Lord Tyre that they wanted to make a public statement.

Advocate Gerry Moynihan, QC told the court that the Crown admitted that had it acted wrongly in legal papers but that he wanted to speak in a public forum.

“It is admitted that the prosecution of Mr Green had no proper basis,” he said. “It is admitted that there has never been objective probable cause and it is admitted in these circumstances that malice in the sense required to give liability at common law can be inferred.

“The import of all that is that Lord Advocate acknowledges there has been a malicious prosecution in the sense that term is used in our law and accordingly there is liability in damages to Mr Green.”

 

Mr Green is the latest figure to bring legal action against the police and the Lord Advocate over their supposed and actual activities during a fraud investigation at Rangers.

It has been brought in the light of admissions made by the Crown in another case brought by the businessmen David Whitehouse and Paul Clark.

Prosecutors have admitted that Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark were wrongfully arrested and prosecuted. The two men are seeking a total of £20.8 million from the Crown Office and Police Scotland.

David Grier, a business turnaround specialist, has also raised a separate action against Police Scotland in which he is seeking £2 million from the force.

In that action, Mr Grier claims that detectives acted unlawfully when he was arrested in 2014.

Officers suspected Mr Grier, of London, had broken the law during the sale of the Ibrox side and the businessman was charged with fraud and conspiracy.

The men were charged with offences relating to businessman Craig Whyte’s takeover of Rangers in 2011. But charges were dropped and they were cleared of any wrongdoing.

 

The Lord Advocate at the time of the investigation was Frank Mulholland, QC, who is now Lord Mulholland, a high court judge.

In the case of Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark, Mr Moynihan admitted earlier this year that the Crown was now admitting liability for wrongdoing in parts of the prosecution.

Mr Moynihan said his clients accepted that the two men’s rights under article five of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated during the prosecution. The violation referred to how they were detained in custody following their arrest in advance of their first appearance in court. Article five of the ECHR relates to the right to liberty and security.

Mr Moynihan said the two men’s right to a private life had been breached in relation to a press release which had been sent out in February 2016.

Mr Moynihan also said the Crown admitted that it acted unlawfully in its prosecution beyond the two men’s first appearance in court.

 

Mr Borland said in court yesterday that Mr Green had suffered a miscarriage of justice, adding: “The public admission that Mr Green has been the subject of a malicious prosecution represents a shameful episode in the history of the prosecution service of Scotland.”

“He is entitled to substantial damages from the Lord Advocate because the prosecution of Mr Green was a malicious prosecution.”

Mr Borland also told the court that his legal team were days away from appointing an expert who would conduct an investigation into the financial losses sustained by Mr Green as a consequence of his arrest.

He said that this could take until February to conclude.

 

Alastair Duncan, QC, who was representing Police Scotland, said his clients were contesting the action and that the hearing against them would proceed on liability and quantum — the amount of money which would be due to Mr Green in the event of him being successful in the action.

Judge Lord Tyre ruled that Mr Green was entitled to damages. His case against the Lord Advocate will proceed only on quantum.

Lord Tyre fixed a further procedural hearing to take place in February. A full hearing is expected to take place in August.

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50 minutes ago, Scott7 said:

“Green Bowls Crown”

Would that it were "Crown Bowls Green".

 

It seems a strange thing, this prosecution which the Crown has conceded was "malicious", and not, say, 'frivolous', or 'capricious',. or 'vexatious', or merely one which could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt. 

 

According to Messrs Livingstone Brown, Solicitors

 

https://www.livbrown.co.uk/criminal-defence/connectetd-litigation/malicious-prosecution

 

"...From time to time, there are cases where it is clear the Crown was wrong to prosecute – where the available evidence simply could not support a conviction.  Those wrongly accused may seek redress, to compensate them for the huge impact that being prosecuted can have: stress, anxiety, loss of reputation, loss of employment, and so on.

Most countries recognise the right to seek damages for ‘malicious prosecution’.  That generally requires a claimant to prove that they were prosecuted; that the prosecution was determined in their favour (eg by being dropped, or them being found not guilty); that the prosecutor lacked ‘probable cause’ (sufficient evidence) to prosecute; and that the prosecutor acted maliciously.

In Scotland, however, it was long understood that the Crown was ‘immune from suit’, meaning that no claim could be brought, regardless of how little evidence there was and how malicious the prosecution had been.  

That changed in late 2019, with the case of Whitehouse v. Gormley.  The Inner House (Scotland’s highest court of appeal in civil cases) decided that the Crown had no immunity.  A person who had been prosecuted without sufficient evidence and maliciously had a right to damages.  The court ruled that an action could also be brought under human rights legislation.

Malicious prosecution cases are complex and difficult to prove.  It is not enough to believe that a prosecutor acted maliciously; that fact has to be proved. However, the courts now recognise that such actions can be brought...."

 

It is not clear how 'malice' is determined, although I suspect that an opinion poll in, say, The Riddrie Hilton, would find a large number of guests agreeing that their prosecutions were 'malicious'. 

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At the turn of the year, I read an article on Frank Mulholland's management of this proposed prosecution. The piece had a paragraph on Mulholland's golf club Sundays, where he would regale cronies on the reactions of those facing the charges. Let's hope when the damages are settled, the appropriate officers attend the golf club on a Sunday and ask Frank for a donation?

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It’s a puzzling case. There are many instances of the Police and the Procurator simply getting things wrong. There are a few cases, reportedly, where frustrated bobbies may have gone after an habitual criminal to get him because he got off on something else. (Imperfect justice but the bloke most likely did it anyway and he would have been going to do something else in a day or two) But a malicious prosecution at this level? What’s the motive? It’s not as if COPFS is overrun with vengeful hunns.

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1 hour ago, Scott7 said:

It’s a puzzling case. There are many instances of the Police and the Procurator simply getting things wrong. There are a few cases, reportedly, where frustrated bobbies may have gone after an habitual criminal to get him because he got off on something else. (Imperfect justice but the bloke most likely did it anyway and he would have been going to do something else in a day or two) But a malicious prosecution at this level? What’s the motive? It’s not as if COPFS is overrun with vengeful hunns.

Deliberately cock it up so badly that any real investigation can't be done and those involved go unpunished, and them the opportunity to earn a few extra bob as recompense for the damage that they did to us?

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I struggle to accept that the Glasgow polis are fundamentally anti-Rangers, most of the coppers I know certainly aren't. That said I'm still not sure if Green and co were pursued by people who dislike Rangers or who dislike Charles Green and friends. I still feel there was something deeply suspicious about what happened to us and who benefited from it but that might just be my compensatory control kicking in and trying to infer order onto something that was in fact random and chaotic. 

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4 hours ago, Scott7 said:

It’s a puzzling case. There are many instances of the Police and the Procurator simply getting things wrong. There are a few cases, reportedly, where frustrated bobbies may have gone after an habitual criminal to get him because he got off on something else. (Imperfect justice but the bloke most likely did it anyway and he would have been going to do something else in a day or two) But a malicious prosecution at this level? What’s the motive? It’s not as if COPFS is overrun with vengeful hunns.

We could speculate wildly, widely, and for as long as we had breath. 

The best  I can offer is that The Lord Advocate, himself, or after discussions with the Scottish Government, decided to pursue, or to support the pursuit, of various parties who were around the trough marked 'Rangers' at feeding time.  The reason for this, given the rumours, assertions, etc. swirling around the country, was the desirability of being seen to

-take action given the high public profile of Rangers, and 

-take action to demonstrate that the crown operated without fear or favour, and

-take action to clear the air, one way or another.

From this, it is but a small step to impute a 'malicious' prosecution, one not based on incontrovertible, or, at least, strong evidence, but premised on these entirely different criteria. 

We should not forget that it was only last year that the Court of Session, in the case of Whitehouse (yes, him) v Gormley, determined that the Crown had no immunity from civil suit. 

 

 

Edited by Uilleam
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