As reported in The Herald yesterday, the judiciary, police and Crown Office Prosecution Service (COPS) colluded in an “unlawful” manner against individuals who were simultaneously subject of a campaign by prominent Rangers supporters over control of the club’s assets before and after liquidation.
Sheriff Lindsay Wood granted police 22 warrants in an investigation into the takeover of Rangers at a time when a high-profile campaign was underway against the same people to secure the assets of the club post-administration and liquidation by ‘real Rangers people’. The Herald also reported that Wood was a prominent Rangers fan who attended games, social events and displayed a photo of Ibrox in his office.
Accusations of collusion by police against groups of individuals are common, but it is rare to find the judiciary and prosecution services involved. It is rarer still that they go after white-collar professionals. If this is what they will do for their team against accountants and lawyers, what would they do to you?
No less an authority than sheriff principle for Glasgow and Strathkelvin concluded Wood “submitted a misleading report”. Senior investigating officer, Chief Inspector Jim Robertson, chanted a Rangers song during interviews. A judge ruled that Robertson gave evidence that was “patently untrue” and acted in an “intimidatory”, “threatening” and reprehensible” manner.
Sheriff Wood accepted his failings and announced he would retire in May this year. So far, compensation payments to victims have reached £40m. Remember, this is only what was published in The Herald yesterday. Fair play to them, if ever you wonder why we need a strong traditional media, this is it.
Let’s be clear, however, there is a lot more that has not come out. If you think Wood and Robertson were architects of this, you are wildly mistaken. Only the Scottish Government have the ability to look deeper, but there are some clear lines to follow up.
When this was all happening, individuals working on this put themselves at significant personal risk and have since wisely gone to ground. While I think that risk has passed, it is not my gamble to take. But I know for sure if the Scottish Government took a hard look at the COPS, their prosecution decisions and their unprecedented leaking of information to the press – by official email (which I’ve seen), they would find out what we all know but some prefer to ignore.