Alex Salmond, Scottish Independence Leader, Charged With Attempted Rape, Sexual Assault

The former leader of Scotland appeared in court this morning to say he's 'innocent of all charges.'

Alex Salmond, Scotland's Former First Minister, Appears In Court
Duncan McGlynn / Getty Images

The former leader of Scotland appeared in court this morning to say he's 'innocent of all charges.'

Alex Salmond, the former first minister of Scotland, has been charged with a number of counts of sexual assault and attempted rape. Salmond has been under investigation by Scottish police for several months after allegations surfaced that he had sexually harassed a number of women.

The Washington Post is reporting that Salmond, 64, was in court today. Though he lost his position in 2017, he led his party for 20 years and led Scotland in its bid for independence in 2014.

Salmond pleaded not guilty in the Edinburgh Sheriff Court and made a brief statement afterward.

“I am innocent of any criminality whatsoever…. I refute absolutely these allegations of criminality, and I will defend myself to the utmost in court. 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.”

While many people are shocked, a London paper confirms that the information has been vetted.

“The charges follow a five-month police investigation into allegations from two women of sexual harassment dating back to 2013 when Mr. Salmond was in office.”

Alex Salmond was released on bail.

The Daily Beast reveals that Salmond is charged with 14 offenses including one of breach of the peace, two of indecent assault, and nine of sexual assault, as well as the two of attempted rape.

CBC says that the charges against the former first minister are the latest in a surge of #metoo accusations in British politics. Salmond is accused of inappropriately touching female staffers during meetings at Bute House, the first minister’s private residence, back in 2013.

At this time, there is no assigned date yet for the next hearing in the Salmond matter, reports BBC, but the upcoming dates should be posted soon as a matter of court housekeeping.

As a side note, Salmond has lodged a complaint that the investigation into his behavior has been handled unfairly, and the Scottish government agreed that the internal investigation was flawed, but that it has now been handed over to police in Edinburgh.

Current First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she is in “shock” at Salmond’s arrest, and gave a statement after the former first minister was charged in court this morning with multiple charges, reports the Scottish Sun.

“Obviously this news this morning will be a shock to many people. But as Police Scotland have made clear this morning these are now live criminal proceedings. That means now, more than ever, it would be completely inappropriate for me or anybody else for that matter to make any comment on the situation.”