First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday her only interest is “seeing justice done” through the court process.
She chose not to make anything other than a short statement in response to questions shortly after Alex Salmond had appeared at the court in Edinburgh.
Salmond, of Strichen, Aberdeenshire, appeared for a preliminary hearing before Lady Dorrian, where he faced 14 charges alleged to have taken place over a six-year period.
According to The Herald newspaper, the SNP leader said: “The only thing I would say, as first minister, and as an ordinary citizen, is that my only interest is in seeing justice done, whatever that may be, but that of course is a matter for the courts with all due process.”
Ms Sturgeon was asked whether the case would impact on the upcoming election.
She replied. “No, I don’t.
“But I’m not going to comment any further on that.
“You appreciate anything at all I say about or around this issue has the potential to lead to coverage and headlines that would not be helpful in terms of ensuring due process and a fair trial.
“So I am going to respect the court process here because I think that is in the overriding interests of everybody involved.”
Ms Sturgeon now lives in the first minister’s Bute House residence where many of the alleged sexual offences are claimed to have taken place.
She took over from Alex Salmond as first minister after he stepped down in the wake of the failed Scottish independence referendum, through which he led the nationalists, in 2014.