Alex Salmond has refused to offer evidence earlier than a Holyrood inquiry into the Scottish Government’s mishandling of sexual harassment allegations made in opposition to him.
Scotland’s former first minister was as a consequence of seem earlier than a committee on Wednesday afternoon however cancelled after a doc of one of his submissions was closely redacted.
The Crown Office mentioned it had ‘grave concerns’ that his evidence – that had already been revealed on the parliament web site – into an alleged conspiracy by his former colleagues may very well be in contempt of court docket.
A Scottish Parliament spokesman introduced on Tuesday night: ‘Mr Salmond has informed the Committee that he will not be attending tomorrow’s assembly to offer evidence.
‘The Committee will instead meet in private to discuss the implications of Mr Salmond’s response and the subsequent steps for its work.’
Earlier his lawyer David McKie mentioned the redaction had prompted ‘significant surprise and concern’ and that Mr Salmond was ‘entitled’ to have his evidence revealed.
‘If any aspect of it is removed, it compromises his oral evidence,’ he added.
His attorneys wrote to the MSPs saying that it was ‘now clearly impossible’ for his or her consumer to attend as deliberate however was obtainable to look as an alternative on Friday.
In the redacted part, Mr Salmond accused officers within the Scottish Government and SNP of ‘a deliberate, prolonged, malicious and concerted effort’ to smear him ‘even to the extent of having me imprisoned’.
He claimed Nicola Sturgeon’s husband and SNP chief government Peter Murrell, and her chief of workers Liz Lloyd have been amongst them in a bit that has remained unchanged on the parliament web site.
Mr Salmond additionally described the Crown Office as ‘unfit for purpose’ within the evidence that was within the public area.
The Scottish Parliament’s Corporate Body (SPCB) agreed to take away the submission and exchange it with a redacted model with 5 sections censored – nearly 500 phrases.
His successor Ms Sturgeon has denied the allegations and that he doesn’t have ‘a shred of evidence’ to again up the conspiracy claims.
She instructed BBC Scotland on Monday: ‘This is his alternative – as a result of the burden of proof of that lies on him, to exchange the insinuation and assertion we’ve got heard over a number of months now with evidence.
‘I don’t consider he can do this, as a result of I do know what he is claiming a few conspiracy just isn’t true.’
Parliamentary inquiry, The Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints, was set as much as look into the Government’s illegal investigation of allegations in opposition to Mr Salmond.
The investigation was discovered to be ‘tainted by apparent bias’, after it emerged the investigating officer had prior contact with two of the ladies who made complaints.
Mr Salmond, who was later acquitted of 13 fees of sexual assault in a felony trial in March 2020, was awarded greater than a £500,000 payout after he efficiently challenged the lawfulness of the investigation.
He had been anticipated to offer evidence in regards to the botched investigation and face questions on his allegations that Ms Sturgeon misled parliament and breached the ministerial code on Wednesday.
A Scottish Parliament spokesman mentioned: ‘Following representations from the Crown Office on Monday night, the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body (SPCB) agreed collectively this morning that it’ll take away the Alex Salmond submission on the ministerial code from its web site with fast impact and republish it later at the moment in a redacted type.
‘The SPCB will respond formally to the Crown Office shortly.’
A spokesman for the Crown Office mentioned: ‘In all cases where the Crown becomes aware of issues of potential contempt, these will be considered carefully and action will be taken if considered appropriate.’
Get in contact with our information crew by emailing us at [email protected].
For extra tales like this, verify our information web page.