Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond charged with attempted rape

Alexander Salmond served as the First Minister of Scotland from 2007 to 2014 and is now facing serious charges of sexual abuse

Former Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond
Former Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond, the former Scottish leader, was charged earlier today with a litany of sexual offences, including two attempted rapes.

Salmond was arrested late last night as Police Scotland revealed that a 64-year old man had been arrested, charged, and a report was sent to the procurator fiscal.

The charge sheet against the longtime Scottish National Party (SNP) chief includes the two counts of attempted rape, nine sexual assaults, two indecent assaults and a breach of the peace.

Salmond made no plea or declaration at the court hearing. He was released on bail.

"Let me say from the outset, I'm innocent from any criminality whatsoever. I refute absolutely these allegations of criminality and I will defend myself to the utmost in court. I've got great faith in the court system in Scotland," he said after the hearing.

Earlier this month, Salmond won a legal case against the Scottish government over its handling of an investigation into the complaints of sexual harassment made against him.

Politically, Salmond was one of the most vociferous proponents of Scottish independence and had repeatedly called for a referendum on the issue.

He had campaigned on global warming and committed the Scottish government to legislation on emission reduction and the generation of renewable energy.

After the 2014 referendum result was announced, when a majority of Scottish voters chose to remain within the United Kingdom, Salmond announced his resignation as SNP leader and First Minister.