Alex Salmond has been charged with attempted rape and multiple sex offences — as he declared he is “innocent of any criminality”.
The Sun reports that former First Minister of Scotland, 64, this afternoon said he would “defend himself to the utmost” after appearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
He faces two charges of attempted rape, nine counts of sexual assault, two counts of indecent assault and one count of breaching the peace.
Speaking outside of court today, Mr Salmond said: “Let me say at the outset, I am innocent of any criminality whatsoever.”
The former politician attended a police station in central Scotland yesterday, before being summoned to court this afternoon where the charges were read behind closed doors.
Under Scottish law the nature of the charges do not have to be immediately made public, unlike in England.
Mr Salmond said he would respect court and would not discuss the specifics of what he had been accused of.
He said: “I refute absolutely these allegations of criminality.
“I’ll defend myself to the utmost in court.
“I’ve got great faith in the court system of Scotland.”
Police had been investigating Mr Salmond following a Scottish government inquiry into complaints of sexual harassment. He denies the claims.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We can confirm a 64-year-old man has been arrested and charged and a report has been sent to the procurator fiscal.
“Proceedings are now live under the contempt of court act.”
It’s understood Mr Salmond was arrested by police last night.
Mr Salmond recently left the party after falling out with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
He was First Minister of Scotland from 2007 to 2014, but quit after the Scottish independence referendum.
Mr Salmond lost his seat in the House of Commons in 2017 and now presents a show on RT, the Kremlin-backed news channel.
He resigned from the SNP in August last year.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and is republished here with permission