Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond appears in court

Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has appeared in court in Edinburgh.

Police Scotland had earlier confirmed that a 64-year-old man had been charged and said a report would be sent to prosecutors.

It still is not yet known what charge Mr Salmond faces.

However, outside the court he said he was “innocent of any criminality” and added he would defend himself “to the utmost”.

Police had been investigating following a Scottish government inquiry into complaints of sexual harassment against Mr Salmond, which he denies.

Mr Salmond, who was first minister from 2007 to 2014, was interviewed by police on Wednesday.

He arrived at Edinburgh Sheriff Court shortly before 14:00 on Thursday for a short hearing.

The news comes two weeks after Mr Salmond was at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, where the Scottish government conceded that its internal investigation of the complaints against him was flawed.

The former first minister had launched a judicial review against the government he once led over how it had handled its inquiry, saying he had been treated unfairly.

That case was focused on the government’s processes, not the substance of the complaints – which Mr Salmond has denied.

Alex Salmond’s political career

Alex Salmond in 2013Mr Salmond was twice leader of the SNP, but quit the party in 2018 after taking legal action against the government
  • He was twice leader of the SNP, and led the party into government at Holyrood in 2007
  • Mr Salmond left office after the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, with his former deputy Nicola Sturgeon taking his place in Bute House
  • He returned to Westminster as an MP the following year, but lost his Gordon seat in the snap election in 2017
  • Mr Salmond has since worked as a talk show host on Russian network RT
  • He quit the SNP when launching his legal action against the Scottish government in 2018