Politics

Rangers prosecutions merit an inquiry, says Police Scotland chief

Scotland’s top police officer said he supports calls for an inquiry into the malicious prosecutions of former Rangers FC administrators Paul Clark and David Whitehouse.

The pair were recently awarded £10.5 million in damages for their indictment in 2014 following their involvement in the administration of the Glasgow club, for which all charges were later dismissed or dropped.

Lord Advocate James Wolffe, who was not in post at the time of the prosecution, this week apologised and also backed calls for an independent judge-led inquiry into what went wrong, conceding the judge may come from out-with Scotland.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone has now also leant his support to calls for an inquiry during an appearance before the Public Audit and Post Legislative Scrutiny Committee at Holyrood on Thursday.

“I did listen to the debate in the Scottish Parliament yesterday and heard from the Lord Advocate and a number of members,” he said.

“I shared the levels of concern that were expressed and I also share what was the will of Parliament that the role of Police Scotland would be included with any judicial inquiry that is then established.

“I give my full commitment to participate fully with that, I agree that there should be an inquiry into the circumstances and I give my commitment that the Police Service of Scotland will contribute to and co-operate fully with any inquiry that arises.”

Livingstone also said he had authorised a financial settlement for both men, although he was not allowed to say how much it was.

He told the committee: “I was able to settle with Mr Clark and Mr Whitehouse in regard to their specific claims against policing – it was a commensurate contribution towards legal expenses as you might imagine, and thereafter that settlement was made and validated by the court.

“I’m not allowed to say anything in more detail than that.”

Livingstone went on to say he did not need to seek authorisation for the payment from the Scottish Police Authority as it amounted to less than £75,000, which he has the power to sign off on – however he did not give an exact number.

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