A court has given activists permission to seek a judicial review of the Scottish government’s refusal to investigate Donald Trump’s unexplained wealth, while ongoing claims for the former president’s purchase of two golf resorts in the country are scrutinized.
The US nonprofit activism organization Avaaz has set up a petition to prosecute an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) against Trump – an injunction by a UK court to force a person to divulge sources of their finances, also known as a ” McMafia “order.
Politicians and activists have called for an investigation into how Trump financed the cash purchases of his two Scottish golf resorts, Turnberry and Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire.
Trump had spent more than $ 300 million (£ 217 million) buying and developing the resorts.
In February, the Scottish Parliament rejected a call for the government to investigate how Trump financed the purchase of the golf courses by 89 votes to 32.
Donald Trump is watching the British Open in Scotland with his wife Melania and son Barron, where the former president is under investigation for the purchase of two golf resorts.
Avaaz’s petition argued that there was “no reasonable reason” to believe that known sources of lawful income were sufficient to pay for Trump’s acquisition of the golf courses.
The move was approved by Lord Sandison of the Court of Session in Scotland, who ruled that there was a “reasonable legal argument” on the matters raised in the petition and he gave “permission to proceed with the petition without condition or restriction. “
In a statement to Newsweek, Avaaz Legal Director Nick Flynn said: “Today’s victory means Scottish ministers are now being challenged in court for their ongoing failure to seek an inexplicable property warrant to investigate Trump’s suspicious Turnberry purchase.
“Armed with a good understanding of the law, we hope Ministers will agree that Trump’s purchase requires the transparency that only a UWO can bring. Scotland’s reputation for upholding the rule of law and combating money laundering depends on it.”
UWOs were introduced in 2018 to crack down on foreign officials suspected of corruption and potentially laundering stolen money across the UK
They are used very rarely, but can pave the way for the seizure of assets if the subject of the contract cannot explain the origin of their assets.
The Scottish Greens co-chair, Patrick Harvie, who introduced the UWO motion to the Scottish Parliament, praised the judge’s decision.
“I’m glad we took a step forward to clarify why Trump’s dealings in Scotland were not investigated,” he told The Scotsman.
“The Scottish government should never have come to a legal challenge by an NGO to confirm or deny whether it will apply for a ‘McMafia’ order.”
Harvie was a longtime critic of Trump, previously describing him as an “unreliable, dishonest, racist, conspiracy theorist” whom Scotland should not associate with, Reuters reported.
Ahead of the February vote in the Scottish Parliament, Trump’s son Eric Trump said Harvie was “nothing more than a national embarrassment with his pathetic antics that only serve himself and his political agenda.”
The Trump organization has been asked for a comment.
Donald Trump plays a round of golf after the opening of Trump International Golf Links Course on July 10, 2012 in Balmedie, Scotland.
Ian MacNicol / Getty Images
Correction 8/21/21, 4:00 PM ET: Updated this article to remove the erroneous reference to Eric Trump as Donald Trump’s eldest son.