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Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond charged with 14 offences – two attempted rape, nine sexual assaults, two indecent assaults and one breach of the peace

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Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has been charged with two counts of attempted rape and a string of other sexual offences.

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The 64-year-old has refuted “absolutely” allegations of criminality after attending a private court hearing this afternoon.

He faces a total of 14 offences including nine of sexual assault, two of indecent assault and one of breaching the peace.

Speaking outside Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court after a hearing, said: “Let me say from the outset I am innocent of any criminality whatsoever.

“Now that criminal proceedings are live… the only thing I can say is I refute absolutely these allegations of criminality.

“I will defend myself to the utmost in court.”

Alex Salmond speaks to the press outside court following his hearing (AFP/Getty Images)

Mr Salmond was taken to a police station in central Scotland after his arrest, where he agreed to appear in court.

“I have got to observe the rules of the court so in court is where I will state my case,” he added.

He had been under investigation by Police Scotland following claims of sexual harassment, which he has previously denied.

Alex Salmond arrives at court for a private hearing (Getty Images)

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said earlier: “We can confirm that a 64-year-old man has been arrested and charged, and a report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.

“Proceedings are now live under the contempt of court act.”

Mr Salmond, from Linlithgow, West Lothian, was Scotland’s first minister from 2007 to 2014 but quit after the Scottish independence referendum. He had led the party for two decades.

He lost his seat in the House of Commons in 2017 and resigned his membership of the SNP in August last year. 

Mr Salmond was arrested by police on Wednesday (Getty Images)

Earlier this month, he won a procedural case against the Scottish Government over its investigation into harassment allegations brought by two women, which he also strenously denied.

The Scottish Government’s handling of the allegations against Mr Salmond was ruled unlawful by Scotland’s highest civil court.

In 2007, Mr Salmond guided the SNP to a narrow Scottish election win.

He then led a minority government, becoming Scotland’s first SNP First Minister.

In the 2011 election, he led the party to an unprecedented victory with a majority win, meaning the SNP’s manifesto pledge to hold an independence referendum could be delivered.

But the result of the 2014 referendum – a 55 per cent to 45 per cent vote to stay in the UK – led to him stepping down as first minister and SNP leader.

Recently Mr Salmond has been working as a talk show host on Russian network RT.

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