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Craig Whyte: Rangers takeover 'fraud' trial begins

The former owner of the Ibrox club denies two charges relating to the deal in 2011.

Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte has gone on trial charged with an allegedly fraudulent takeover of the Ibrox club.

Whyte took his place in the dock in courtroom number four at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday.

The 46 year-old faces two charges - one of fraud and a second allegation under the Companies Act.

The first accusation claims Whyte obtained a "majority and controlling stake" in Rangers "by fraud".

The charge dates between May 2010 and May 2011 listing various locations including Ibrox Stadium, Murray Park as well as "addresses meantime unknown" in Monaco and France.

It is said Whyte did pretend to then Rangers owner Sir David Murray and others that "funds were available" to make all stipulated payments.

It is claimed "resources necessary" were available to meet a number of "obligations", including £5m for the playing squad.

The second charge under the Companies Act centres on an £18m payment in connection with the takeover.

Whyte is being represented by Donald Findlay QC. Alex Prentice QC is leading the prosecution team.

Mr Findlay told the court Whyte was pleading not guilty to the accusations. A jury of eight men and seven women was later sworn in.

After being picked, judge Lady Stacey asked them to "consider matters" before evidence was to be heard in the case.

She said: "There has been some degree of publicity about Mr Whyte and Rangers - putting it at its broadest - over the last number of years.

"Do you know Mr Whyte? Do you know anyone personally who may be a witness?

"During May 2010 and May 2011 (time of charges), were you a shareholder, bond holder or season ticket holder of Rangers?

"Ask yourself is there any good reason why you cannot be an impartial member of this jury."

The judge also encouraged jurors to "put out of mind" anything they may have read or heard previously about the case.

After a short break, none of the men and women selected had to be excused.

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