PROPERTY tycoon Donald Trump yesterday vowed to take Alex Salmond “to hell” as he prepared to launch a legal challenge to the Scottish Government’s support for an offshore wind farm.
Legal representatives for Trump International Golf Links Scotland will file for a judicial review at the Court of Session in Edinburgh this week over the government’s backing for a “monstrous” offshore wind farm near the American magnate’s luxury golf course in Aberdeenshire.
Mr Trump pulled the plug on any future investment at the £750 million golf resort on the Mennie estate in March after the SNP administration approved the European Offshore Wind Development Centre in Aberdeen Bay.
The US businessman claims the support came despite past “assurances” from the First Minister that the wind farm would never be built.
Yesterday, Mr Trump said: “This week, I have instructed my lawyers to launch an all-out challenge at the Court of Session to ‘Mad Alex’, as I believe history will someday call Alex Salmond.
“The First Minister’s obsession with turning his nation into the Saudi Arabia of ‘renewables’ … is a disgrace.”
Mr Trump added: “In the case we are filing this week in the Court of Session in Edinburgh we … [are] seeking a judicial review of the decision to build the wind farm, in the hope that sanity will prevail and that the scheme will be scrapped.
“We will lay down the full and embarrassing facts. We will reveal that, in this matter, the First Minister has been ruthless and cynical.
“He misled me and my company, even as he was secretly begging me to help him manipulate world opinion over the freeing of al-Megrahi [a reference to Mr Trump’s claim that Mr Salmond sought his support over the unpopular release of the late convicted Lockerbie bomber who was freed by the Scottish Government on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with cancer].
“I remember a dinner that the Scottish Government gave in October 2007 at Le Perigord, a New York restaurant … to mark Mr Salmond’s first trip to the US as First Minister.
“It was a small gathering and during the cocktail hour, my legal counsel, George Sorial, and I spoke at length with Mr Salmond about the possibility of a wind-farm application and the First Minister promised us that this would not and could not happen [because it would interfere with shipping lanes and military radar]. My company continued to invest in the resort in good faith.”
Mr Trump added: “I am going to fight him [Alex Salmond] for as long as it takes – to hell if I have to – and spend as much as it takes to block this useless and grotesque blot on our heritage.”
The Scottish Government remained bullish in its response yesterday, stating that “the direction of energy policy in Scotland is a matter for the democratically elected Scottish Government”.
Refusing to comment directly on allegations that the First Minister lied or on the threat to “take him to hell”, a Scottish Government spokesman said the SNP was committed to developing the offshore wind sector, which could generate £7 billion for Scotland’s economy.