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Salmond trial expected to begin early next year; Justice: Former FM charged with 14 offences, which he denies.

Byline: KIERAN BEATTIE

The trial of Scotland's former first minister Alex Salmond on multiple charges alleging sexual assault and attempted rape is expected to start early next year.

The former MP for Gordon was charged with 14 offences in January.

The charges include two of attempted rape, nine of sexual assault, two of indecent assault, and one of breach of the peace.

It is understood that the indictment in the case is not expected to be served until October, before an initial hearing in November.

The trial is then expected to start before a jury at the High Court towards the end of January.

Mr Salmond denies all of the allegations made against him.

He previously insisted he is "innocent of any criminality", and would defend himself "to the utmost" during the case.

A police investigation was launched after a Scottish Government inquiry into complaints of sexual harassment.

The former first minister launched a judicial review against the Scottish Government over how it handled the probe, arguing that he had been treated unfairly.

The government later conceded that its procedures had been flawed.

Mr Salmond served as Scotland's first minister from 2007 until 2014, when he stepped down from the role after the independence referendum.

He returned to Westminster as an MP the following year, but in 2017 he lost Aberdeenshire's Gordon constituency to Conservative candidate Colin Clark.

Last year, he quit the SNP when he launched legal action against the Scottish Government.

He has since worked as a talk show host on the Russian television network, RT, with his own programme called The Alex Salmond Show.

"It is understood that the indictment is not expected to be served until October"

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Alex Salmond denies all of the allegations made against him

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Publication:The Press and Journal (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 13, 2019
Words:293
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