In defence of innocence: The ongoing SNP investigation

The investigation into the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) finances has moved on since it began in July 2021, following claims that around £660,000 raised since 2017 for a second independence referendum campaign had been used for unrelated expenses.

In April this year, former SNP Chief Executive Peter Murrell, husband of former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, was arrested and the marital home was searched.

In tandem with this, a campervan located at Mr Murrell’s mother’s property was seized and police raided the SNP’s headquarters. Mr Murrell was later released without charge.

Ms Sturgeon was arrested earlier this month in connection with the investigation and was questioned by detectives for several hours.

She was later released without charge and at a press conference afterwards insisted she is innocent of any wrongdoing but when asked if her husband was also innocent the former First Minister said: “In a situation like this I can only speak for myself.”

Back in April, former SNP minister Alex Neil urged the new First Minister, Humza Yousaf to do just that in a bid to “get to the bottom of this” and then “move on”.

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “Not only will the financial dealings of Ms Sturgeon and her husband be likely to be scrutinized but so will the finances of the SNP itself.

“In that regard, Johnston Carmichael, the party’s auditors for 10 years, quit last September and it took many months for the party to find a replacement firm that was willing to take on the task of undertaking the audit.

“If investigators find evidence of wrongdoing, the spotlight could fall on the former auditors who are required to give a reason for their resignation to their successors.  In the event that claims then follow, forensic accountancy evidence would almost certainly be required to consider whether the auditors acted in a manner that might have contributed to potential losses.”


Source: BBC News

Posted in The Forensic Blog.