Trump could still face money laundering investigation over Scottish golf course

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Scottish courts have rejected a legal bid to compel lawmakers to investigate Donald Trump’s purchase of two of his prized golf resorts in the country.

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The nation’s top prosecutor must now decide how to investigate how the former president paid for his Trump Turnberry course in 2014 and the Trump International Golf Links near Aberdeen eight years ago.

New York-based human rights organization Avaaz argued that the Scottish government should have launched an unexplained property order investigation into how the deals were financed.


However, in a written decision Released on Thursday, Judge Craig Sandison ruled that Scottish ministers had acted legally by refusing to seek investigation.

“I wish to clarify that I express no opinion on the question of whether [criminal law] In the case of President Trump the requirements were or appeared to be met,” Justice Sandison wrote.

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“Furthermore, it has not yet been observed that Scottish ministers can still make a UWO application in relation to President Trump’s Scottish assets.”

The matter will now come to Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain to decide whether to pursue the criminal investigation.

Mr Trump paid $60m in cash to buy Trump Turnberry in 2014, a deal that gained attention during his presidency as his finances were decimated by the press.

The self-described “king of debt” built his trading empire by borrowing money through opaque financial deals.

However, in the nine years since his election as president, Mr Trump spent $400m in cash on new properties, including buying 14 properties outright without borrowing a cent from any bank, Washington Post Reported in 2018.

Avaz called on the Scottish and US governments to investigate the origins of Mr Trump’s spending of millions.

As the BBC reports, the Scottish Green Party also called for an unexplained money order in Mr Trump’s finances.

First Minister 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 Hamza Yusuf denied Ms Sturgeon, and said the government had jurisdiction to investigate the unexplained estate order.

Avaaz, which is following a similar court action against Mr Trump in the US, appealed to the Court of Session, Scotland’s highest civil court, which ruled the government was not required to act.

Thursday’s decision means the politically charged case will be sent back to Ms Bain, who is the equivalent of an attorney general in Scotland.

After the verdict. Avaaz’s legal director Nick Flynn said the time had come for a full investigation.

“The law may be clarified, but Trump’s purchase of Turnberry is still clouded by doubts,” he said in a statement.

“By any measure, the threshold of pursuing the UWO to investigate the purchase is easily exceeded. The Lord Advocate must act immediately in the interest of the rule of law and transparency, and demand a clear explanation that Where did the $60m used to buy Turnberry come from,” he said.

The Trump Scotland group did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Granthshala.

Eric Trump previously described the investigation as “pathetic” and said it would halt foreign investment.


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