Scottish courts have rejected a legal offer designed to force lawmakers to investigate Donald Trump’s purchase of his two prestigious golf resorts in the country.
The country’s chief prosecutor must now decide whether to investigate how the former president paid for his Trump-Turnberry course in 2014 and for Trump International Golf Links near Aberdeen eight years earlier.
The New York-based human rights group Avaaz had argued that the Scottish government should have launched an unresolved property investigation to investigate the financing of the deal.
However, in a written judgment released Thursday, Judge Craig Sandison ruled that Scottish ministers had acted lawfully in refusing to open the investigation.
“I want to make it clear that I have no opinion on whether the [criminal law] In the case of President Trump, the requirements were or appeared to have been met, ”wrote Judge Sandison.
“Also, for All That Has Seen, Scottish Ministers can still file a UWO motion in relation to President Trump’s Scottish assets.”
The case will now fall to Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain to determine whether a criminal investigation will be initiated.
Mr Trump paid $ 60 million in cash to purchase Trump Turnberry in 2014, a deal that caught the attention of the press during his presidency when his finances were examined by the press.
The self-proclaimed “King of Debt” had built his business empire by borrowing money through opaque financial transactions.
However, in the nine years leading up to his election as president, Trump gave $ 400 million.
Avaaz called on the Scottish and US governments to investigate the origins of Mr Trump’s millions in spending.
The Scottish Green Party also called for an unresolved property regime in Mr Trump’s finances, the BBC reported.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was up to the courts to decide whether to investigate the purchase of the two golf resorts.
In 2016, Donald Trump cuts a ribbon at his Trump Turnberry Resort, surrounded by his family, on the 9th tee
However, former Justice Minister Humza Yousaf disagreed with Ms. Sturgeon, saying the government was in charge of an inexplicable investigation into the property arrangement.
Avaaz, who is pursuing a similar lawsuit against Mr Trump in the United States, appealed to the Court of Session, Scotland’s highest civil court, which ruled that the government should not act.
Thursday’s ruling means the politically charged case will be referred back to Ms. Bain, who equates to a prosecutor general in Scotland.
After the decision. Avaaz’s legal director Nick Flynn said it was time for a full investigation.
“The law may have been cleared, but there is still a cloud of suspicion about Trump’s purchase of Turnberry,” he said in a statement.
“In any case, the threshold for a UWO to investigate the purchase was slightly exceeded. The Lord Advocate should, in the interests of the rule of law and transparency, take urgent action and request a clear explanation of where the $ 60 million used to buy Turnberry came from, ”he said.
Sarah Malone, Executive Vice President of Trump International Scotland, told The Independent that the ongoing legal action was a “ridiculous farce.”
“What a terrible charge against Scotland and its reputation as a country to invest and do business in. Here we are facing the biggest economic crisis since World War II and we are clogging the courts with this ridiculous farce that costs taxpayers huge sums of money, ”Ms Malone said in a statement.
“This kind of rampant, unfounded nonsense, invented by political activists, only serves to hurt the hard working people in Scotland who ultimately seek to render them unemployed by attacking legitimate companies. Your claims are completely wrong. The Scottish government has rightly rejected their petition, which is nothing more than a shameful attempt to be relevant and attack President Trump. “
Eric Trump previously described the investigation as “pathetic” and said it would discourage foreign investment.