Alex Salmond spoke briefly to reporters after emerging from Edinburgh Sheriff Court today.
He said: “Yesterday, with my solicitor Callum Anderson, I attended a police station in central Scotland. I was released on condition that I came to the court today to face the charges against me. That I have now done.
“So, let me say at the outset I am innocent of any criminality whatsoever.
“As you will remember in the long process of judicial review, I made it clear in order to respect the court that I would not make comment until proceedings are concluded.
“That I did, in the statement I made on the steps of the Court of Session two weeks ago.
“Now that these proceedings, criminal proceedings, are live, it’s even more important to respect the court, and, therefore, the only thing I can say is I refute absolutely the allegation of criminality and I will defend myself top the utmost in court.
“I have got great faith in the court system of Scotland. I have got recent cause to have great faith in the court system of Scotland - that is where I will state my case.
“Now, I’m informed that court rules are that your questions and my answers might well breach court rules.
“You know me well enough to know that I’d love to say a great deal more but I have got to observe the rules of the court and in court is where I will state my case.
“Therefore, if you forgive me, I will go back in to consult my legal team. Thank you very much indeed.”