Chances of a 'McMafia'-style investigation into Trump's Scottish golf courses are fading after a legal ruling
Donald Trump in one of his Scottish estates.Getty
The chances of an investigation into Donald Trump's Scottish golf courses decreased after a court ruling.
Lawyers had argued that ministers should launch a money laundering investigation against Trump.
A judge ruled that ministers could delegate this responsibility to effectively circumvent the decision.
The prospect of an investigation into the cash purchase of a Scottish golf course by Donald Trump dwindled Thursday when a judge issued a court ruling on so-called McMafia orders in Scotland.
Edinburgh's Court of Session had considered the Scottish government's decision not to investigate Trump's purchase of Turnberry, the historic golf resort near Glasgow, in 2014.
Advocacy group Avaaz brought the case after the Scottish government rejected calls in February to pursue an unresolved property warrant against Trump.
UWOs give prosecutors the power to require individuals or organizations to explain how they acquired assets, such as expensive property. They are known as the McMafia Orders, based on the "McMafia" television series about organized crime.
Avaaz argued that a "huge cloud of suspicion" hung over Trump's unusual $ 60 million cash purchase from Turnberry in 2014.
The court ruled Thursday that ministers are under no obligation to seek inexplicable property orders against individuals.
Craig Sandison, the senior judge who delivered the verdict, agreed with the Scottish Government that Ministers could delegate that responsibility to the Lord Advocate, Scotland's Chief Legal Officer.
Dorothy Bain, the Lord Advocate, could still initiate a UWO against Trump, although she has so far shown no signs of it.
The verdict means Nicola Sturgeon and other Scottish ministers will not be forced to choose either way.
Avaaz said Bain, who was appointed in June, should start the investigation.
"The law may have been cleared, but there is still a cloud of suspicion about Trump's purchase of Turnberry," Avaaz legal director Nick Flynn said in a statement.
“The threshold of pursuing a UWO to investigate the purchase is easily crossed in every respect.
"The Lord Advocate should, in the interests of the rule of law and transparency, take urgent action and request a clear explanation of where the $ 60 million purchase of Turnberry came from."
Insider contacted the Scottish Government for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
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