A Scottish court ruled that the Scottish Minister has no “duty” to investigate Donald Trump’s purchase of a Turnberry golf club in an “unexplained order of wealth.”
This ruling is a victory for the Trump Organization, which has always refused to answer questions about funding the Turnberry Golf Club. The property is one of Trump’s two deficit golf courses in Scotland, and the campaign group states that it is raising money with suspicious wealth.
Avaaz, a New York-based campaign group, released a report in 2019 that raised questions about the $ 60 million playing cards paid to the Turnberry Golf Club. In particular, it is clear where the money came from because Trump bought real estate during a “cash-buying banquet” that originated from “places that greatly encourage money laundering, such as Panama and the former Soviet Union,” where many of the transactions came from. Must be.
To answer these questions, Scottish Minister Patrick Harvie has submitted a motion requesting an unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) to investigate Trump.
UWO empowers Scottish authorities to ask Trump where the money used to buy turnberries came from. If they were not happy with Trump’s reaction, they could use the civil recovery process to seize property.
When this motion was defeated by the Scottish Parliament in February, Avaaz sought a judicial review of the process in a Scottish court. Avaaz argued that the Scottish minister had a “duty” to seek UWO, but the Scottish minister said the decision could only be made by the Scottish chief advocate.
Last month, Avaaz submitted evidence to the court. Aidan O’Neill QC, on behalf of Avaaz, presented forensic accounting that revealed the magnitude of Turnberry’s economic losses. In 2018 alone, the business lost nearly $ 10 million, raising further concerns about funding.
However, the ruling released today (November 25) makes it clear that the decision to issue UWO lies with the Scottish chief defender, not the Scottish minister.
In response to the ruling, Avaaz now wants its main defenders to take action. “We still have a strong view that unexplained wealth orders should be sought,” says Nick Flynn, Avaaz’s General Counsel.
“The main defenders need to take urgent action for the rule of law and transparency and demand a clear explanation of where the $ 60 million used to buy Turnberry came from.”
Patrick Harvie’s party, the Scottish Green Party, which recently signed a power-sharing agreement with the Scottish National Party (SNP), also wants tougher action from its main supporters. “Scotland needs to take a zero-tolerance approach to potential financial crimes, regardless of suspect,” said Ross Greer, a financial spokesman for the Scottish Green Party.
However, the ruling also noted that “Scottish ministers may file a UWO application for President Trump’s Scottish assets.” This means that the Scottish Parliament can vote again for the issuance of UWO if new evidence of Trump’s finances becomes apparent.
Today’s ruling comes when Trump’s golf course faces some of their biggest court battles. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has begun investigating the Trump Organization’s US golf course in fear of misrepresenting its finances to secure favorable loans and tax incentives.
The Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment at the time this article was published, and Donald Trump himself had not spoken publicly about the matter, but in February his son Eric had a discussion about UWO. It’s pathetic. “