Scottish courts have rejected a legal offer to force lawmakers to investigate Donald Trump’s purchase of his two popular golf resorts in the country.
The country’s top prosecutor will now have to decide whether or not to pursue an investigation into how the former president paid for his Trump Turnberry course in 2014, and Trump International Golf Links near Aberdeen eight years earlier.
New York-based human rights organization Avaaz had argued that the Scottish government should have embarked on an unexplained wealth order investigation into how deals were funded.
However, in a written judgment released Thursday, Judge Craig Sandison ruled that Scottish ministers acted legally by refusing to conduct the inquiry.
“I want to make it clear that I express no opinion on whether the [criminal law] the requirements were or appeared to be met in President Trump’s case, ”Judge Sandison wrote.
“Additionally, for anything yet seen, Scottish ministers can still file a UWO claim regarding President Trump’s Scottish assets.”
It will now be up to Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain to decide whether to pursue a criminal investigation.
Mr Trump paid $ 60 million in cash to buy Trump Turnberry in 2014, a deal that garnered attention during his presidency as his finances came under scrutiny in the press.
The self-proclaimed “king of debt” had built his business empire by borrowing money through opaque financial deals.
However, in the nine years leading up to his presidential election, Mr. Trump spent $ 400 million in cash on new properties, including buying 14 properties without borrowing a dime from any bank, The Washington Post declared in 2018.
Avaaz called on the Scottish and US governments to investigate the origins of Mr Trump’s millions of spending.
The Scottish Green Party has also called for an unexplained wealth order in Mr Trump’s finances, the BBC reported.
Premier Nicola Sturgeon said it was up to the courts to decide whether to investigate the purchase of the two golf resorts.
However, former Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf contradicted Ms Sturgeon and said the government was competent to investigate an unexplained wealth order.
Avaaz, who is pursuing a similar lawsuit against Mr Trump in the United States, then appealed to the Court of Session, Scotland’s highest civil court, which ruled that the government did not need to to act.
Thursday’s ruling means the politically charged case will be referred to Ms Bain, who is the equivalent of an attorney general in Scotland.
After the decision. Avaaz chief legal officer Nick Flynn said now is the time for a full investigation.
“The law may have been clarified, but a cloud of suspicion still hangs over Trump’s purchase of Turnberry,” he said in a statement.
“In all respects, the threshold to sue a UWO to investigate the purchase was easily crossed. The Lord Advocate should take urgent action in the interests of the rule of law and transparency, and demand a clear explanation of where the $ 60 million used to buy Turnberry came from, ”he said.
The Trump Scotland group did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The independent.
Eric Trump previously called the investigation “pathetic” and said it would deter overseas investment.
The Independent Gt