Ash Regan refuses to say if she believes Alex Salmond was 'stitched up'
The SNP leadership hopeful said there are "very serious rumours" about the allegations against the former first minister, and would not say if she thought he was stitched up.
She said if there is any substance to the rumours, she will get "to the bottom of it and careers will be ended" if she wins the race to Bute House. Ms Regan did not detail the rumours, nor is there any police investigation into the issue.
Mr Salmond was cleared of sexually assaulting nine women following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh in 2020.
Kirk Torrance, an adviser to Ms Regan, previously made allegations of a “cover up” at the time of the Holyrood inquiry into the Scottish Government’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations against Mr Salmond in 2021.
Asked if she thought there was a cover up against Mr Salmond, Ms Regan told The Scotsman: "This may be subject to a live police investigation, and I cannot comment on the record on that."
Asked if she believed Mr Salmond was stitched up, she again pointed to a potential police investigation.
Asked if she believed there were any outstanding questions around the allegations against Mr Salmond, she said: "Look, I am totally removed from this. I have nothing to do with any of this. I don't know any of the information, or have been involved in it in any way.
"If I become the leader of the SNP and there's any substance to any of these – you know, there are some very serious rumours that are going about, and if there is any substance to these rumours, I will be getting to the bottom of it and careers will be ended. That's all I can say on that."
Asked what rumours she was referring to, she said: "There's lots of rumours swirling around. I hope they are not true, but if they are, I will get to the bottom of it."
There is an ongoing Police Scotland investigation into the SNP's finances after complaints about how donations were used.
Last year, it was reported the Crown Office was probing claims of perjury committed during Mr Salmond’s trial. Police are also looking into the leaking of information from the Scottish Government's probe into harassment complaints.