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Ex-Scottish Leader Charged With 2 Attempted Rapes

Ex-First Minister Alex Salmond: 'I am innocent of any criminality whatsoever'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2019 8:07 AM CST
Former Scottish leader Alex Salmond makes a statement outside the Edinburgh Sheriff Court after his arrest in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Thursday.   (Jane Barlow/PA via AP)
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(Newser) – First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's reaction to a major development in Scotland: "Obviously this news ... will be a shock to many people." That's the arrest of her predecessor, Alex Salmond, who's been hit with 14 charges, including sexual assault, breach of peace, and two counts of attempted rape, Fox News reports. "I am innocent of any criminality whatsoever," Salmond, 64, told reporters outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court after a brief hearing Thursday, reports Reuters.

Salmond added that he wanted to say more but that "in court is where I will state my case." The former Scottish National Party leader and secessionist advocate, who led the country from 2007 to 2014, had stepped down from the SNP in August during an investigation into whether he'd harassed two staff members in 2013. He has also gone after Sturgeon's administration for how it has handled sexual harassment allegations against him. Salmond has been released on bail, with no word on when his next hearing will be. (Read more Alex Salmond stories.)

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