Campaigners call on Salmond to order inquiry into Sheridan case

ALEX Salmond has been asked to order an inquiry into the handling of the perjury case against the disgraced former Scottish Socialist Party leader, Tommy Sheridan.

The Scotsman has obtained a copy of a letter from the Defend Tommy Sheridan campaign to the First Minister, demanding a probe into the "role, conduct and performance" of Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini in pursuing the case against the left-winger.

Mr Salmond has been asked to "shed some light" over whether the Lord Advocate came under "extreme pressure" from Lothian and Borders Police as the Crown mounted its case against Sheridan. The letter, which also alleges a campaign of "victimisation" against Sheridan was sent yesterday, a day after he was sentenced to three years for perjury.

The Defend Tommy Sheridan campaign also wants an inquiry to look at whether the Scottish Government was approached about the case by the News of the World, which the former MSP sued amid allegations surrounding his private life.

Jim Monaghan, secretary of the Defend Tommy Sheridan Campaign committee, claimed that serious questions remained unanswered as to the real reasons why so much public money and resources were committed to pursuing the former SSP MSP.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "Mr Monaghan is, of course, free to pursue Freedom of Information requests in the normal way, but if he is inquiring about our involvement then the answer will be none. We have complete confidence in our law officers."

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