Alex Salmond acquitted of all sexual assault charges

Alex Salmond outside court

Alex Salmond has been cleared of all 13 charges of sexual assault in a High Court case in Edinburgh today.

A jury found that the former Scottish First Minister was 'not guilty' of 12 of charges, and found another charge 'not proven.'

Another charge of sexual assault was previously dropped by prosecutors.

Mr Salmond had always maintained his innocence.

In total, nine women had made allegations against Mr Salmond.  The women included an SNP politician, an SNP party worker and several current and former civil servants and government officials.

Mr Salmond said during the 11 day trial, that the allegations against him were "deliberate fabrications for a political purpose" and that he had "never attempted to have non-consensual sexual relations with anyone in my entire life."

The defence team for Mr Salmond had also claimed that a senior Scottish Government official had contacted some of the other complainers in order to encourage them to make complaints against him.

Speaking outside Court today, Mr Salmond said "As many of you will know, there is certain evidence I would have liked to have seen led in this trial but for a variety of reasons we were not able to do so.

"At some point, that information, that facts and that evidence will see the light of day."

He added "Whatever nightmare I have been through over the last two years it is as nothing compared to the situation we are all going through.

"If you can, go home, take care of your families, God help us all."

The jury found Mr Salmond not guilty of 12 charges, which included one charge of attempted rape, and found a not proven verdict for one charge of sexual assault with intent to rape.

The not proven verdict is unique to the Scottish legal system and is exactly the same as not guilty in practice.

The charges were alleged to have taken place while Mr Salmond held the office of Scottish First Minister, and several of those charges were alleged to have taken place at Bute House, the official First Minister's residence.

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