The former leader of the Scottish National Party and head of the Scottish Government, and now the presenter of the Russian TV channel RT Alex Salmond has been acquitted on charges of attempted rape and harassment of 10 women.
The jury concluded that Salmond was not guilty on any of the 12 charges, and another conviction for attempted rape was found to be unproven (the Scottish jury may reach a verdict of this kind; its practical consequences are the same as a verdict of “not guilty”).
The politician initially insisted on his innocence.
Previously, the case had involved the charge of harassing another woman, but the prosecution had decided not to include him in the case. Salmond’s trial lasted two weeks.
The women who accused Salmond included a politician from his party, a party employee, and several current and former Scottish civil servants. All of the charges against Salmond dated back to the time he was first minister of Scotland.
During his testimony in court, Salmond said that all charges were deliberately fabricated for political purposes.
He noted that he had never in his life attempted to achieve sexual relations without the consent of his partner.
In August 2019, Salmond, as a result of a year of litigation, sue more than half a million pounds from the Scottish Government, which conducted its own internal investigation into the allegations against him.
The Government, led by Salmond’s former deputy in the party, Nicola Sturdjen, admitted that the investigation was flawed and recovered Salmond’s legal costs of 512,000 pounds ($580,000 at current exchange rates).
Alex Salmond had twice led the Scottish National Party, whose programme goal was to remove Scotland from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and had brought it to power in the 2007 elections.
He resigned after losing the Scottish Independence referendum in the autumn of 2014, and the party and government were led by his deputy, Nicola Sturge, who continues to hold these positions.