Judicial review of Trump McMafia order decision granted
The news that the courts will review Scottish government ministers’ ability to grant an unexplained wealth order on Donald Trump’s acquisition of Scottish golf courses has been welcomed.
Campaign group Avaaz have today been given permission to seek a judicial review of the decision by the Scottish government not to back a Scottish Green motion in February to pursue an unexplained wealth order, also known as a McMafia order.
This mechanism was introduced in 2018 to help authorities fight money laundering and target the illicit wealth of foreign officials.
In February the Scottish government said such decisions should be free of ‘political interference’, even though ministers have the sole responsibility to seek such an order.
Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie, who brought the motion in February, said: “I’m glad we are a step forward in getting some clarity over why Trump’s business dealings in Scotland haven’t been investigated.
“It should never have got to the stage of a legal challenge from an NGO for the Scottish Government to confirm or deny whether they will seek a McMafia order.
“Scotland’s reputation is at stake, and it is entirely within the powers of ministers to defend it. An unexplained wealth order would be a clear signal that business in Scotland must be transparent and accountable, no matter the individual involved.”