Alex Salmond charged with attempted rape and sexual assault

FORMER Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has appeared in court to face multiple charges including attempted rape and sexual assault.

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 2:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:54 pm
Alex Salmond has been arrested and charged. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

The 64-year-old has denied the charges and has insisted he is ‘innocent of any criminality’. 

ITV reported that the Crown Office have confirmed that Mr Salmond has been charged with two counts of attempted rape, nine counts of sexual assault, two of indecent assault and one breach of the peace.

The former SNP leader appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court this afternoon and has said that he will ‘defend himself to the utmost’. 

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Alex Salmond has been arrested and charged. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

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Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond arrested and charged by police 

Mr Salmond was arrested on Wednesday after attending a police station in central Scotland.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: ‘We can confirm that a 64-year-old man has been arrested and charged, and a report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.

‘Proceedings are now live under the contempt of court act.’

Mr Salmond, from Linlithgow, West Lothian, was Scotland's first minister from 2007 to 2014.

He resigned his membership of the SNP in August 2018.

Mr Salmond guided the party to a narrow Scottish election win in 2007 and then led a minority government as he became Scotland's first SNP First Minister.

In the 2011 election, he led the party to an unprecedented victory with a majority win, meaning the SNP's manifesto pledge to hold an independence referendum could be delivered.

But the result of the 2014 referendum - a 55% to 45% vote to stay in the UK - led to him stepping down as first minister and SNP leader.

Alex Salmond’s statement in full 

‘Yesterday, with my solicitor Callum Anderson, I attended a police station in central Scotland. I was released on condition that I came to the court today to face the charges against me. That I have now done.

‘So, let me say at the outset I am innocent of any criminality whatsoever.

‘As you will remember in the long process of judicial review, I made it clear in order to respect the court that I would not make comment until proceedings are concluded.

‘That I did, in the statement I made on the steps of the Court of Session two weeks ago.

‘Now that these proceedings, criminal proceedings, are live, it's even more important to respect the court, and, therefore, the only thing I can say is I refute absolutely the allegation of criminality and I will defend myself top the utmost in court.

‘I have got great faith in the court system of Scotland. I have got recent cause to have great faith in the court system of Scotland - that is where I will state my case.

‘Now, I'm informed that court rules are that your questions and my answers might well breach court rules.

‘You know me well enough to know that I'd love to say a great deal more but I have got to observe the rules of the court and in court is where I will state my case.

‘Therefore, if you forgive me, I will go back in to consult my legal team. Thank you very much indeed.’