Ex-Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond not guilty of all sexual assault charges

Former first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, has been cleared of attempted rape and a series of sexual assaults, including one with intent to rape, after a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

The former SNP First Minister of Scotland walked free after being cleared by a jury following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Alex Salmond was found not guilty of indecent assault of a woman, known as Woman A, on various occasions in June and July 2008 in a Glasgow pub, by kissing her on the mouth and touching her buttocks and breast with his hands over her clothing.

He was found not guilty of sexual assault of the same woman on an occasion in December 2010 at a nightclub in Edinburgh, by touching her arms, breasts and hips with his hands over her clothing.

Wearing his trademark saltire tie, he showed little emotion as the verdicts were read out.

He turned to the two court security officers and said "thank you" to each of them.

Judge Lady Dorrian discharged Salmond and he said: "Thank you my lady," before leaving the courtroom.

Speaking outside the court Alex Salmond thanked those who supported him during the trial but said his “nightmare” was nothing compared to what the country was going through due to Covid-19.

He said: "There is certain evidence that I would have liked to have seen led in this trial but for a variety of reasons we were not able to do so.

"Those facts will see the light but it won't be this day."

He said: "I'd like to thank my friends and family for standing by me over the last two years."

He also thanked those who have sent him messages, his "brilliant" legal team and the court service who he said have been "courteous beyond limit".

Salmond, 65, denied 13 alleged sexual offences against nine women, who were all either working for the Scottish Government or within the SNP at the time.

The accusations spanned a period between June 2008 and November 2014 and range from him stroking a civil servant's hair to allegedly trying to rape a former Scottish Government official in Bute House.

On Monday, judge Lady Dorrian discharged two jurors, with the remaining 13 sent out to continue deliberations.

The jury began considering their verdicts shortly before 2pm on Friday, before being sent home for the weekend.

Earlier, the judge told the jurors they must decide whether the charges have been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

She explained there are three verdicts available – guilty, not guilty and not proven – the latter two both being verdicts of acquittal in the Scottish legal system.

Salmond's lawyers previously lodged special defences of consent and alibi.

Consent was given as a defence for three alleged sexual assaults and an alleged indecent assault against three women.

The 65-year-old was first arrested and charged by Police Scotland in relation to the allegations in January 2019.

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