Craig Whyte trial: Former Rangers owner Sir David Murray ‘spent nothing’ on checks

Former  Rangers owner Sir David Murray. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey
Former Rangers owner Sir David Murray. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey
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Former Rangers owner Sir David Murray’s team spent “nothing” on checks on Craig Whyte prior to his takeover of the club, a court has heard.

Sir David’s lawyer said “comfort” was taken in Whyte having “reputable” advisers. But, Whyte’s QC claimed the Murray side wanted a sale for “the right reasons or not”.

The evidence was heard at Whyte’s trial at the High Court in Glasgow on Friday.

The 46 year-old denies a charge of fraud and a second allegation under the Companies Act in connection with his takeover at Ibrox.

Solicitor David Horne – a key adviser to Sir David – was giving evidence for a second day.

The jury has heard how Whyte struck a £1 deal buy Sir David’s controlling stake at Ibrox in May 2011.

Prosecutors claim Whyte helped fund the takeover with a loan from the firm Ticketus against three years season tickets.

READ MORE: Craig Whyte trial hears claims use of Ticketus ‘actively concealed’

Sir David earlier told the trial he would “categorically not” have handed the club over if that was how a deal was being financed.

Whyte’s QC Donald Findlay suggested the Murray team wanted to sell “for right reasons or not” provided Rangers bank debt was cleared.

He then questioned Mr Horne on how much was spent on “due diligence” on Whyte before the takeover.

Mr Horne initially said “not very much at all”.

The QC: “£20? More? Less?”

The witness: “I don’t know – possibly nothing.”

Mr Findlay: “That was what was spent – nothing?”

Mr Horne agreed.

The advocate suggested that if checks had been done they would have known “his first piggy bank to his inside leg measurement”.

But, Mr Horne replied: “We took comfort that he had reputable advisors.

“If anything had been thrown up that suggested any impropriety, the deal would not have gone ahead.

Mr Findlay then claimed a “whole range of people” knew about any Ticketus involvement.

Mr Horne earlier told how he only learned of their role after the deal.

The QC said if the Murray team wanted to know “where the money came from” they could have carried out the due diligence.

He also claimed that all Murray eventually wanted to do was sell Rangers to Whyte adding “it is as simple as that”.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC later went on to ask Mr Horne: “On the face of it, was Murray keen to complete the deal?”

The witness: “Yes.”

Mr Prentice: “Would he have sold no matter what?”

Mr Horne: “No.”

The trial, before Judge Lady Stacey, continues on Tuesday.