Alex Salmond has described Donald Trump as a beaten man after the US billionaire's lawyers lost a challenge against an offshore wind farm near one of his Scottish golf resorts.
The former First Minister, who has been involved in a bitter dispute with Trump since his SNP administration approved plans for 11 turbines to be built near the businessman's Menie estate in Aberdeenshire, called on him to accept the Court of Session's decision 'with good grace.'
Loading article content
But the Trump Organisation refused to back down, saying it was impossible to get a fair hearing on windfarms in the Scottish courts, and said its lawyers will appeal through the Supreme Court and the European Courts.
The scheme is opposed by the property developer, who claims it would spoil the view from his luxury golf links at the Menie estate.
Lawyers for the Trump went to the Edinburgh court to obtain a a review of the Scottish Government's decision not to hold a public inquiry on the wind farm application and their decision to grant consent for the project.
The petition was dismissed in February last year and Scotland's most senior judge, Lord Gill, has now ruled that the earlier decision was legal.
He has now released his judgment, in which he states: "None of the considerations founded on by the petitioners comes anywhere near to supporting the petitioners' suspicions.
"I propose to your lordships that we should refuse the reclaiming motion."
Mr Trump had previously pull the plug on plans to further develop his resort near Balmedie if the wind farm goes ahead.
He had also Mr Salmond was "hell-bent on destroying Scotland's coastline and therefore Scotland itself".
Following the latest judgement, Mr Salmond, now MP for Gordon in Aberdeenshire, said: ""I am delighted by the decision of the highest court in Scotland to turn down Mr Trump's case.
"This judgement is one led by Scotland's most senior judge , the Lord President. The Trump organisation has now been beaten twice in the Scottish courts and I hope that he will now accept the decision with good grace."
Mr Salmond said the economic downturn in the North Sea industry showed why the north east needs to look to offshore wind technology.
He added: "Offshore wind is an emerging technology and the demonstrator of up to 11 new turbine devices would have put us at the centre of the
development of that technology for the future.
"We have seen a number of times recently where corporate power can frustrate democratic decisions by litigation for delay rather than winning in court.
"That is what the insurance companies did over pleural plaques, the whisky companies have done over minimum pricing and now the Trump organisation have done over this offshore wind demonstrator. It would be tragic for the North East if delay has impeded this valuable offshore."
The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) project is a joint venture by Vattenfall Wind Power and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, who say the turbines would be capable of yielding enough electricity to power 68,000 UK households over a year.
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: "This result is good news for Scotland and for all those interested in cutting carbon emissions and creating jobs.
"Once again the courts have seen through Trump's flimsy, misguided attempts to frustrate Scotland's ambition to create clean power and green jobs. It's now time for Mr Trump to stop wasting any more time and money on this case.
"Once up and running, this test facility will be ideally placed to help test the technologies needed to harness the huge offshore renewables potential, ensuring learning by industry, and playing an important role in helping to drive down costs."
In a statement, the Trump Organisation said: "The written judgment is no surprise - it's impossible to have a fair hearing challenging wind-farm applications in Scotland.
"We have already instructed our legal team to commence an appeal before both the Supreme Court of the UK and the European Courts.
"The EOWDC proposal has now languished in the planning system for more than 10 years and has a long way to go before construction can actually commence."
The statement added that Vattenfall, AREG and Technip had "long abandoned" the project and it wa common knowledge that there is no funding to allow it to proceed.
It continued: "It's impossible to envision how this ill-conceived proposal will ever get built."