An inquiry into the malicious prosecution of administrators action for Rangers FC is likely to be heard by a judge from outside Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon said, when asked at First Minister’s Questions that she was committed to it but that decision had to be done in the right way.

She was asked by Conservative MSP, Russell Findlay, about the inquiry into the prosecution of David Whitehouse and Paul Clark, who were appointed as administrators when Rangers went into administration in 2012.

All charges against the two men were dropped two years later and each was awarded more than £10m in damages.

It was announced earlier this year after the Crown admitted the prosecutions had been “malicious”.

Findlay said the episode was costly in both financial and reputational terms and asked the First Minister who would lead the inquiry.

He said: “Russell Findlay: “We do not yet know how much these malicious prosecutions will end up costing taxpayers. The self-inflicted damage to the Crown Office’s reputation is unquantifiable.

“The Scottish National Party has agreed to most of the Scottish Conservatives’ demands in relation to the inquiry, but one big question remains unanswered: will the judge who leads it be from outwith Scotland? That is a yes-or-no question.

Sturgeon said: “Yes, I think that there is an argument for that. However, such decisions must be taken in the proper way and at the proper time.

“We are committed to this. Of course, in prosecution matters, the Crown Office acts entirely independently of ministers.

“It is important that there is a remit for the inquiry and that it is led by a judge who commands confidence.

“That is in the interests of everyone and we will take those decisions once the legal proceedings have concluded.”

Earlier this year then Lord Advocate, James Wolffe, who was not Lord Advocate at the time of the prosecutions apologise to both men.

He said there had been no probable cause to pursue a case against Paul Clark and David Whitehouse and that there had been a “very serious failure in the system of prosecution”.

Mr Wolffe said that there should be an inquiry and it should be judge led.

He said: “I entirely agree the judge appointed would have to be demonstrably independent”.

He also said: It may well be appropriate to appoint a judge from outwith Scotland.

“However it would be premature at this time to conclude that when the time comes to establish the inquiry there is no Scottish judge that can satisfy that requirement.”