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Fri Jan 15, 2021, 11:40 PM

Leading QC says Scottish ministers can seek 'McMafia' order into Donald Trump's finances

One of Scotland’s leading QCs has directly contradicted First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's claims that the Scottish Government is not responsible for the decision on whether to seek an Unexplained Wealth Order, amid renewed calls for ministers to investigate how Donald Trump financed the multimillion pound acquisition of his flagship international property.

Aidan O’Neill QC, one of the country’s most experienced advocates, said that ministers alone are responsible for deciding to apply for one of the so called 'McMafia' orders, and that it was “entirely reasonable” to expect the government to explain its decision making process in considering the use of an UWO.

His opinion, echoed by another leading advocate, directly contradicts claims made by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who has argued that any application for such an order is a decision for the Crown Office.

It comes as the legal director of Avaaz, a non-profit global activism organisation, has written to Ms Sturgeon, asking her to "take responsibility" for an issue that is becoming increasingly "urgent."

However, a spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said last night that any decision to apply to the Court of Session for a UWO was an “operational matter” for the civil recovery unit, which reports to the [Scottish] Lord Advocate, and that it was “not appropriate” for the government to comment. She added that given the “sensitive nature” of the unit’s work, it was convention to neither confirm nor deny “the existence of any ongoing investigation.”


As the article explains, the idea of raising an Unexplained Wealth Order against Trump has cropped up a number of times in recent years. It looks like the Scottish Government would prefer that to be a legal decision rather than a political one.

(X-posted in General Discussion)

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