Malicious prosecution scandal: Cost to public purse reaches almost £40m

Malicious prosecution scandal: Cost to public purse reaches almost £40m

The costs of the malicious prosecution scandal have reached almost £40 million, accounts from the Scottish government show.

Compensation payments in the millions were made after a number of people involved in the administration and acquisition of Rangers became victims of the Crown Office.

Conservative MSP Russell Findlay told the Daily Record: “It’s outrageous that taxpayers continue to be hit in the pocket by the Rangers malicious prosecutions scandal.

“The SNP government needs to be open and honest about how many millions of pounds have been lost from public funds.

“While ministers agreed to our calls for a public inquiry, they can’t use that as an excuse to keep people in the dark in the meantime, while the bill continues to spiral.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP commented: “This is a gobsmacking sum of money for the government to have thrown away.

“This is money that could have been spent on tackling the obscene case backlog in our court system or getting thousands of children involved in grassroots sports.

“The public will now require reassurance that there aren’t other skeletons hiding in the Crown Office closet. We need to see progress on a full, independent and judge-led inquiry into this scandal.”

A spokesman for the Crown Office said: “The previous lord advocate committed the Crown to support a judge-led inquiry once all litigation is over and apologised for the cost to the public purse.

“There are long-standing and robust processes in place to minimise the possibility that wrongful prosecutions are brought.

“We have strengthened these through case management panels which provide additional scrutiny and direction from senior prosecutors.”

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