Joyce again denies airport charges
Falkirk MP Eric Joyce has appeared in court for the first time to face charges of being threatening and abusive at an airport last year.
The 53-year-old maintained his not guilty pleas to three charges when he appeared in the dock at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
The former Army major had previously tendered the pleas in a letter to the court.
His solicitor advocate, David Allan, said today: "I appear for Mr Joyce who is maintaining his not guilty pleas to the charges.
"As far as preparation is concerned, Mr Joyce only instructed me on Monday of this week."
Mr Allan said he had received a disc of CCTV from the Crown but asked for the pre-trial hearing to be continued to allow further time to prepare the case.
Sheriff Alistair Noble continued the hearing until March 21. A trial has been set for March 31.
Joyce, from Stirling, denies being threatening or abusive at Edinburgh Airport on May 19.
He is alleged to have repeatedly shouted, sworn and made offensive remarks.
Joyce pleads not guilty to resisting constables Alan Hazelwood and John Miller at the airport and on the way to the city's St Leonards police station.
The politician is said to have struggled violently and tried to kick the officers.
He also denies a third charge of threatening or abusive behaviour alleging that he shouted, swore, made offensive remarks and noises and uttered racial remarks at both the airport and police station.
The MP, who resigned from the Labour Party and now sits as an independent, is stepping down from his role next year.