- More by Preeti Kaur-Sandhu
Alex Salmond, former Frist Minister of Scotland has been arrested and charged on multiple sex offences as the public raise tens of thousands for his legal defence
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What is a First Minister??
The United Kingdom is a union on multiple countries, principalities and overseas protectorates. Scotland, is a sovereign country within the union of the United Kingdom. As such Scotland has a level of autonomy to which the laws and legal system can differ to other countries within the UK. Scotland have their own leader called a First Minister. The First Minister is the highest position in Scottish politics, much like Prime Minister is the highest in England or President in the highest in the USA.
Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond who lead the country in to the infamous independence vote to leave the UK (which was narrowly defeated) has been arrested and charged with “several serious sex offences’ according to Scottish police.
Our code of ethics does not permit us to disclose the exact allegations or charges made. Salmond must remain innocent until proven guilty at all times and has the right to a fair trial without media bias.
The former leader of Scotland has been charged over 14 serious allegations, Scotland’s prosecuting office said.
Salmond said he was “innocent of any criminality whatsoever” as he appeared in court in Edinburgh after being arrested and charged by police.
He added: “The only thing I can say is I refute, absolutely, these allegations of criminality and I’ll defend myself to the utmost in court. I’ve got great faith in the court system in Scotland… that is where I will state my case.”
In an earlier statement, Police Scotland said: “We can confirm a 64 year-old man has been arrested and charged and a report has been sent to the procurator fiscal.”
Salmond also told reporters outside the Edinburgh Sheriff Court that he had attended a police station on Wednesday.
“I was released on condition that I came to the court today to face the charges against me – that I have now done,” he said.
Salmond won a case earlier this month against the Scottish government over the handling of its investigation into misconduct complaints, which a court said was “procedurally unfair and… tainted with apparent bias”.
The 64-year-old served two terms as SNP leader, totalling more than 20 years, and was Scotland’s first minister from 2007 to 2014.
It is very common in the UK for members of the press, political opposition, activists or media to be accused of sexual, terrorism or espionage charges as they are the only two charges in the UK that require no evidence or trial to be sentenced as well as carrying life long repercussions and loss of freedoms even if found innocent or never being taken to court.
Salmond not only lead Scotland into a very nearly successful bid for independence in 2014 but is also a very strong opponent of Brexit. Suggesting that Scotland would and could prosper as an EU member state independent of the UK.
2018 saw the highest ever level of journalists, politicians and business owners arrested over such allegations. All, were strong and outspoken opponents of Brexit and the current UK government.
Crowd funding sites have raised tens of thousands of pounds to pay for Salmond’s legal defence and loss of income as a result of the allegations with the Scottish public rallying behind him. Recent polls in local newspapers suggest that the arrest of Salmond has raised support for Scottish independence from 48% to 54%.
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P.KaurSandhu@alsahawat.com | Journalist