Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has said he is innocent after appearing in front of an Edinburgh court on rape charges.
The SNP politician, who was charged with two counts of attempted rape, faces a further nine counts of sexual assault and two of indecent assault. The charges also include one count of breach of the peace.
Salmond, who has not yet entered a formal plea, told reporters outside court he is innocent and vowed to fight the charges.
“Let me say at the outset, I am innocent of any criminality whatsoever,” Salmond said. “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 of Scotland. […] That is where I will state my case.”
Earlier today police said they had arrested a man without releasing details of the case.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a 64-year-old man has been arrested and charged and a report will be sent to the procurator fiscal. Proceedings are now live under the Contempt of Court Act.”
An SNP spokesperson told City A.M. the party could not comment on ongoing police matters.
The former party leader resigned from the SNP last year after he was hit with allegations of sexual harassment.
Earlier this month he won a court case forcing the Scottish government to apologise for its handling of the claims.
Salmond's successor Nicola Sturgeon said: “Obviously this news this morning will be a shock to many people.” She declined to comment further.