Alex Salmond trial: when is the court date, what are the charges and who’s the judge?

Former First Minister Alex Salmond is facing 14 criminal charges in March.

Alex Salmond has vowed to "vigorously" defend himself at he court case in March (Getty Images)
Alex Salmond has vowed to "vigorously" defend himself at he court case in March (Getty Images)

The former SNP leader, 64, vowed to defend himself "vigorously" following a preliminary hearing on November 21 last year where he pled not guilty to a series of sexual offences.

When is the court date?

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A procedural hearing will first take place on January 22, 2020

Some of the charges are said to have taken place at Bute House in Edinburgh (Shutterstock)

Mr Salmond's trial date is set for March 9, 2020. The full trial is expected to last about four weeks.

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What are the charges?

Mr Salmond denies all 14 sexual and indecent assault charges which are said to have taken place between 2008 and 2014 during his time as First Minister of Scotland.

The full list of charges are as follows:

- Salmond attempted to rape a woman at Bute House in Edinburgh in 2014, the indictment alleges It is said he placed her legs over his, repeatedly kissed her face and neck, groped her, then blocked her path.

- Salmond is then said to have pinned her against a wall, pulled at her clothes and stripped himself naked before trying to rape her on a bed.

- The former MP is also accused of sexually assaulting a woman with intent to rape in 2013.

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- He is alleged to have forced a woman to lie on his bed at the first minister's official residence then pulled up her dress with intent to rape her. Both incidents were said to have taken place between the date of the Edinburgh Agreement in 2012 and the day of the independence vote in September 2014.

- Meanwhile, the first of the charges involved incidents where Salmond allegedly indecently assaulted a woman by kissing her mouth and groping her on various occasions around Glasgow in 2008

- It is also alleged he sexually assaulted a woman on various occasions between 2011 and 2013 at the Scottish Parliament, Bute House and elsewhere by touching her bottom and stroking other parts of her body.

- Salmond - who was Scotland's first minister from 2007 to 2014 - is also accused of taking off a woman's shoe and trying to kiss her foot in 2013.

- The indictment states that in 2014, Salmond grabbed a woman by her shoulders at Bute House, repeatedly kissed her face, tried to kiss her lips and touched her leg and face.

- Several charges involved the accused allegedly groping women, including one incident at the Ubiquitous Chip restaurant in Glasgow in 2012

What did Alex Salmond say after the preliminary hearing?

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Speaking outside the High Court on November 21, Alex Salmond denied any wrongdoing.

He stated: “I’m not permitted to say too much today save that we’ve launched our defence statement with the court."

“It pleads not guilty to all charges and explains some of the circumstances in which they’ve come about. I’m also conscious we’re in the middle of a general election campaign. I’m not going to say anything which would influence that democratic process."

“We’re now into a second year of court actions, first civil and now criminal - it’s over ten months since we won the civil action.

“I am innocent and I will defend my position vigorously but the only place, the only proper place to answer criminal charges, is in this court - and that’s exactly what we intend to do next spring.”

Who is the judge?

Lady Dorrian is expect to preside over the March court case.

As Lord Justice Clerk, Lady Dorrian is the first woman in 692 years to be appointed as Scotland’s second most senior judge.

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Lady Dorrian was born Leeona June Dorrian in June 1957 in Edinburgh. She attended Cranley Girls’ School in the city and studied for a law degree at Aberdeen University. She was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1981 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1994.

Lady Dorrian became a full-time high court judge in 2005.