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Crown Office probing claims perjury committed during Alex Salmond trial

Former first minister Alex Salmond.
Former first minister Alex Salmond.

Claims that perjury was committed during Alex Salmond’s sexual assault trial are being investigated by the Crown Office, it has emerged.

The Sunday Mail reported that the ex-first minister’s lawyers submitted a series of criminal accusations which are now being looked into.

An independent QC will probe the claims along with a top prosecutor.

A Crown Office spokesperson said: “Correspondence from Mr Salmond’s solicitor has been received and will be responded to in due course.

“As is standard practice in any case regarding politicians, this will be dealt with by a procurator fiscal and independent Crown Counsel without the involvement of the Law Officers.”

Mr Salmond stood trial in 2020 over accusations he sexually assaulted nine women while in office as first minister.

The ex-SNP leader was found not guilty on 12 charges, while a not proven verdict was given for another.

In January 2019 Mr Salmond won £500,000 from the Scottish Government for their botched handling of a probe into allegations against him.

It’s understood the perjury claims relate to evidence given during his trial allegedly contracting statements made during a Holyrood inquiry into the government’s investigation.

‘I welcome the inquiries’

The former first minister said: “I welcome the inquiries and will do everything I can to assist.

“The criminal investigations must be allowed to take their course before any other action is taken.”

Appearing at last year’s Holyrood inquiry, Mr Salmond claimed that senior SNP figures had conspired to bring him down.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Nicola Sturgeon denied there had been any conspiracy against her predecessor and insisted she did not lie over when she found out about allegations against him.

A committee of MSPs ruled that the SNP leader had misled parliament, but an independent probe from QC James Hamilton did not say that she had knowingly broken the ministerial code.

The report said it was for the Scottish Parliament to decide if they had been misled.

Last month it emerged a watchdog is probing claims an MSP leaked the conclusions of the Holyrood inquiry.

Ex-MSP Andy Wightman claimed on social media he believed an SNP MSP on the committee had sent out the draft findings.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “This is a matter for the Crown Office.”

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