Revealed: Scottish Govt has power to seek Trump McMafia order

The Scottish Government must press on with an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) on Donald Trump’s Scottish acquisition of Turnberry golf course, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie has said, after legal advice confirmed ministers have the power to seek one.

In November, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told Mr Harvie she did not have the power to seek a UWO, also known as a ‘McMafia’ order, but new legal advice obtained for campaign group Avaaz has revealed she was wrong.

The advice states: “The First Minister is incorrect in saying that the ‘Crown Office’ is responsible for the decision-making…”

It continues: “In particular it is not open to the Scottish Ministers to suggest - or to implement any policy to the effect - that the question of whether to seek an “unexplained wealth order” in any particular case is a matter for the Lord Advocate alone or acting independently of the Scottish Ministers.”

Commenting, Patrick Harvie said: “This legal advice is clear, that the First Minister was wrong to pass the buck when it comes to seeking an Unexplained Wealth Order on Donald Trump’s business dealings in Scotland.

“We’ve seen cases against Trump escalate as his sorry term in office draws to a thankful close, and the question of how he managed the cash purchases of Scottish golf courses during a global financial crisis remains unanswered.

“It’s long past time the Scottish Government demonstrated that Scotland cannot be a country where anyone with the money can buy whatever land and property they want, no questions asked.”