Alex Salmond charged with two counts of attempted rape and nine sexual assault charges

Alex Salmond charged with two counts of attempted rape and nine sexual assault charges

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has been charged with 14 charges including two for attempted rape and nine others for sexual assault.

Other charges include two for indecent assault and one for ‘breach of the peace’.

Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has said he “never engaged in criminality" and will "defend himself to the utmost" after appearing in court.

He arrived at Edinburgh Sheriff Court just before 2pm and made a short statement after the brief hearing.

In it, he said: "I have always maintained that I have never engaged in criminality and that remains my position.

“I said throughout the Judicial Review that it would be inappropriate to comment further until the conclusion of that case and I did not do so until I have my full statement on the steps of the Court of Session two weeks ago.

“Faithful to that principle, and given that the case is live, I am obviously not able to say anything more at this stage other than to reiterate that I absolutely refute any allegations of criminality.”

 

'Proceedings are now live' 

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.