THE officer who led the police investigation into the takeover of Rangers FC has applied for early retirement, which would mean he could evade disciplinary action and being removed from the force in disgrace. 

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Robertson, 54, led the inquiry into allegations of fraud linked to the sale of the club. 

Seven individuals, including Craig Whyte, bought Rangers for £1 from Sir David Murray in 2011, and were charged during the investigation but later cleared. 

The operation triggered a public inquiry and could potentially cost the taxpayer more than £100 million in payments to those individuals who were prosecuted maliciously. 

This year, the court of session found Robertson had behaved in an “intimidatory and threatening” way, given evidence that was “patently untrue” and had conducted himself in a “reprehensible” manner. 

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Individuals who experienced Robertson’s methods say he reared up while chanting a “Rangers song” during an interview, spoke of his devotion to the club and acted like Gene Hunt, the detective from the TV series Life on Mars. 

The Times revealed in May that he and Detective Chief Inspector Jacqueline O’Neil, Robertson’s second in command, arranged “wholly unnecessary” trips to South Africa, New York and Ohio during the investigation. 

David Grier, a consultant with Duff and Phelps – the consultancy appointed to manage Rangers’ affairs after its collapse – was arrested during the investigation but then cleared and has been informed Robertson has applied for early retirement. 

He said: “It would be absolutely shameful if Robertson was allowed to be given an escape route which would allow him to evade disciplinary action.

“There is no way he should be allowed to bow out with an unblemished record and a full pension. 

“It would show that the police are unable to police themselves.”

Grier has submitted complaints against both Robertson and O’Neill and has alleged their actions amounted to criminal conduct. 

Andrew Gregory, a solicitor who attended a meeting with Robertson and O’Neill in New York in 2015, has previously spoken about how the two became agitated and were continually looking at their watches. 

Gregory said: “Robertson said they were keen to see the sights of New York. 

“He told me he was a Rangers fan and that the community had been very badly hit by the demise of the club.

“He felt that the community needed to have a sense of justice and that those who were responsible should be pursued.”

Phil Duffy, of Duffy and Phelps, previously described Robertson’s behaviour as “bizarre and unacceptable” when he was interviewed by him. 

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He continued: “At one point, Robertson sat back in his chair, raised himself up and started chanting. 

“I can only presume it was a Rangers song.”

Police Scotland said it did not comment on individual circumstances but added: “We have received complaints and they are being dealt with in line with our complaints handling process.”