Alex Salmond, 64, appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh faced with 14 charges. The charges against him include attempted rape, intent to rape, 10 sexual assaults, and 2 indecent assaults, all said to have taken place during his time as First Minister (FM).
These assaults are said to have taken place in a number of locations, including Bute House (the official residence of the FM), the Scottish Parliament and Stirling Castle.
The former FM has denied all allegations. Outside of the court, addressing the press, he said:
“I am innocent and will defend my position vigorously. But the only place, the only proper place, to answer criminal charges is in this court, and that’s exactly what we intend to do next Spring.”
Mr. Salmond was previously the leader of the SNP and served as FM from May 2007 until November 2014, when he resigned after the failure of the Scottish Independence Referendum. He then lost his Gordon seat in the snap election of 2017.
In August he received over £500,000 from the Scottish government to cover his legal expenses after a bitter legal battle over how the government handled their inquiry. He claimed to have been treated unfairly and with bias, which the government later agreed with and made the payment.
It is thought that the trial against Mr Salmond will last 4 weeks.