The Tribunal directed that the question of any sanction which might be appliedshould be continued to the conclusion of the proceedings before it. It noted that MrWhyte had on 6 April 2012 also been found to be in breach of two orders of theTribunal under the Judicial Panel Protocol made on 29 March 2012 and the questionof any sanction which might be applied in respect of those matters was alsocontinued to the conclusion of the proceedings.The Tribunal, having regard to the desirability of progressing the disciplinary mattersbefore it without further delay, and in the absence of any representation otherwise,and being satisfied in terms of Paragraph 22.214.171.124 of the Judicial Panel Protocol thatMr Whyte had been given fair notice of the proceedings and in particular thesubstantive hearing set for 17 April 2012, directed that notwithstanding Mr Whytewas absent, it would proceed to hear the evidence and submissions and proceed toDeterminations in relation to the complaints against both Rangers FC and Mr Whyte.The Tribunal noted
Mr Whyte’s failure to lodge a substantive written response to the
Notice of Complaint as directed by the Tribunal on 29 March 2012, and noted thatalthough it would be entitled in terms of Paragraph 10.5.2.1 to deny or restrict theextent to which Mr Whyte
’s bare denial was given effect in the hearing, for the
avoidance of doubt, it would proceed on the basis that there was an absolute denialon his part of each element of the alleged breach of the rules in all its particulars.The Tribunal directed that accordingly, and notwithstanding the fact that in itswritten responses Rangers FC in substantial measure admitted the factual avermentsand a number of the alleged breaches of the rules, under explanation and mitigation,the Tribunal would require to establish a clear factual basis for its Determination of both any alleged breaches and, if applicable, any sanction against either or bothRangers FC or Mr Whyte. There appeared to be a clear conflict in the position of Rangers FC and the deemed absolute denial by Mr Whyte upon which the Tribunalwas proceeding. The commission and the circumstances of the alleged breacheswould therefore require to be established by the leading of evidence before theTribunal and the Tribunal would require to be satisfied in terms of Paragraph 10.9.1that the alleged breaches were proven against the parties on the basis of a balance of probabilities test.It noted in terms of Paragraph 10.5.2.2 of the Judicial Panel Protocol that theTribunal was en
titled (though not bound) to draw such inferences from Mr Whyte’s
non-compliance with its direction to lodge a substantive written response as itconsidered to be fair and reasonable, including adverse inferences.