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Ex-first minister charged with sexual assault and attempted rape

The former first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and two counts of attempted rape.

The ex-SNP chief and independence campaigner was charged on Wednesday night after voluntarily attending a police station with his solicitor, and was later released after he agreed to appear in court.

On Thursday afternoon, Salmond appeared at Edinburgh sheriff court for a hearing and was faced with 14 charges: nine charges of sexual assault, two of attempted rape, two of indecent assault and one of breach of the peace.

The 64-year-old, who has been under investigation by Police Scotland since last September, entered no plea during the private hearing and was released on bail. Appearing outside the court afterwards, Salmond announced to reporters that he was not guilty of any wrongdoing:

“The only thing that I can say is I refute absolutely these allegations of criminality and I will defend myself to the utmost in court. I’ve got great faith in the court system in Scotland [and] that is where I will state my case.”

Last year, Salmond took legal action over how the Scottish government - now led by Nicole Sturgeon - handled a complaints process against him in a sexual harassment case. Earlier this month, Salmond won a judicial review on how that case was handled when the Scottish government conceded it had acted unlawfully in probing the harassment claims.

It has been confirmed that Salmond will continue to present his television talk show, which has been running since 2017, on the Kremlin-backed broadcaster Russia Today during the court process.

Although refusing to say whether the police had interviewed her, the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced yesterday that Salmond’s charges will not affect the timing of a second independence referendum, and that ‘the case for independence is bigger than any one man.’

Contact our Sexual Offence Lawyers Glasgow, Scotland

For first-class legal guidance and representation in a sexual offence case, or for a general query about criminal defence in Scotland, do not delay and speak with one of our specialist criminal defence solicitors today via the online enquiry form

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