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Activist group challenges Scottish decision not to probe Trump’s golf course buys

Published: (Updated: ) in European News by .

Avaaz wants the court to review the Scottish parliament’s decision not to seek an unexplained wealth order for Trump’s $300M all-cash buys of two golf courses.

Avaaz, a U.S.-based nonprofit, is seeking a judicial review of the Scottish parliament’s decision in February to not investigate former U.S. President Donald Trump’s cash purchases of two Scottish golf courses.

Avaaz confirmed to POLITICO it had filed a petition on Monday to Scotland’s highest civil court, the Court of Session. It is seeking a review of the government’s decision not to move ahead with a so-called unexplained wealth order (UWO) on the Trump Organization, which the Scottish Green Party called for to investigate Trump’s $300 million all-cash purchases of two golf courses in Scotland in 2006 and 2014. Reuters was first to report the move on Monday evening.

A UWO is a relatively new piece of British criminal legislation, requiring a subject to explain how their assets were acquired. If their reasoning is not satisfactory, the assets are “presumed to be recoverable property,” meaning they could be seized.

Avaaz said the Scottish parliament’s reasons for opting not to pursue the order are rooted in an incorrect interpretation of the law, according to Reuters. Before the February 3 vote on the matter, Humza Yousaf, at that time Scotland’s justice secretary, said it was not the parliament’s role to instigate UWOs, while Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously said that any investigations are the responsibility of Police Scotland and the Crown Office. Avaaz refutes that, calling for the Court of Session to determine that Scottish ministers have the sole responsibility for pursuing UWOs.

If the court rules in Avaaz’s favor, the government would need to make a decision on whether to pursue a UWO on Trump’s golf courses.

READ:  Giuseppe Conte

The Scottish government and the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This article has been updated with additional information.


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