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Alex Salmond to face court over sex assault allegations

The former first minister is facing 14 charges at the High Court in Edinburgh.

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Alex Salmond arrives at the High Court in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Alex Salmond arrives at the High Court in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Alex Salmond arrives at the High Court in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Former first minister of Scotland Alex Salmond has arrived at court for the first day of his trial over accusations of sexual assault, including one of attempted rape.

The 65-year-old arrived at the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday morning, where he faces 14 charges of alleged offences against 10 women, all of which he denies.

They include one of attempted rape, 11 of sexual assault – including one with intent to rape – and two of indecent assault.

His trial, in front of judge Lady Dorrian, is expected to last for four weeks.

The charges span a period between June 29 2008 and November 11 2014, with one sexual assault said to have taken place in the month of the Scottish independence referendum.

The indictment alleges that Salmond attempted to rape a woman at the first minister’s official residence, Bute House in Edinburgh, in June 2014.

It is said he placed her legs over his, repeatedly kissed her face and neck, groped her, and then blocked her path.

Salmond is then alleged to have pinned her against a wall, pulled at her clothes and stripped himself naked before trying to rape her on a bed.

High Court in Edinburgh
The trial will be before judge Lady Dorrian at the High Court in Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

The former MP is also accused of sexually assaulting a woman with intent to rape in December 2013.

He is alleged to have forced a woman to lie on his bed at Bute House and then pulled up her dress with intent to rape her.

The first charge listed accuses Salmond of indecently assaulting a woman by kissing her mouth and groping her on various occasions around Glasgow between June 29 2008 and July 24 2008.

It is also alleged he sexually assaulted a woman on various occasions between May 2011 and June 2013 at the Scottish Parliament, Bute House and elsewhere by touching her bottom and stroking other parts of her body.

Salmond – who was Scotland’s first minister from 2007 to 2014 – is also accused of sexual assault by allegedly taking off a woman’s shoe and trying to kiss her foot in October 2013.

He is further accused of grabbing a woman by her shoulders at Bute House, repeatedly kissing her face, trying to kiss her lips and touching her leg and face in September 2014, the month of the Scottish independence referendum.

Several charges involved the accused allegedly groping women, including one incident at a restaurant in Glasgow in March 2012.

PA