Bill Walker MSP faces domestic abuse charges in court
Former SNP MSP Bill Walker today faced a series of domestic abuse charges in court.
• Politician faces 15 assault charges, 13 of assault to injury, and one of assault to injury and permanent disfigurement
• Charges all date from 1967 to the late 1980s
• Independent MSP was expelled by the SNP when allegations emerged
Three-times married Walker, 70, entered no plea or declaration during the hearing Dunfermline Sheriff Court.
Walker appeared in court out of public view. Under Scots law, accused persons appearing for the first time on so-called “solemn procedure”, the method reserved for more serious allegations, always appear in private -unlike in England where such preliminary hearings are heard in open court.
Walker’s solicitor, Russel McPhate, said his client was committed for further examination and granted bail.
He will appear again at a future date.
Walker was elected to the Scottish Parliament in May 2011. He won the Dunfermline seat in the SNP landslide victory by 590 votes.
However it was earlier this year that the allegations came to light. He was charged by police on June 6 following a string of allegations.
In a statement he said at the time: “For the past few months I have been subjected to a campaign of gossip, innuendo and salacious allegations, and therefore welcome the opportunity I might now have to state my side of the case in possible court proceedings, which I am confident will clear me of any wrongdoing.
“There are serious questions to be put to those accusing me, but this will be done in the proper legal forum.
“I look forward to facing my accusers in court.”
A former chartered engineer, he had been an SNP member for nearly 40 years before he was expelled.
Walker appealed against his expulsion from the SNP, but agreed last month to put his appeal on hold until the matters at Dunfermline Sheriff Court were concluded.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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