Alex Salmond trial: what will happen during the former First Minister’s court case?

Alex Salmond attends Edinburgh's High Court on March 11 (Getty Images)Alex Salmond attends Edinburgh's High Court on March 11 (Getty Images)
Alex Salmond attends Edinburgh's High Court on March 11 (Getty Images)
Alex Salmond is facing 14 sexual offences charges – all of which he denies.

As the former First Minister’s trial gets underway at the High Court in Edinburgh we take a look at what you can expect.

How long will the trial run for?

The trial got underway on March 9 and is scheduled to last about four weeks.

What is Alex Salmond accused of?

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Mr Salmond is accused of 14 sexual offence charges against 10 women over a period of six years.

The charges include one attempted rape, one intent to rape, two indecent assaults and 10 sexual assaults.

The incidents are said to have taken place between June 2008 and November 2014 when Mr Salmond served as First Minister of Scotland, and are alleged to have happened at a variety of locations, including Bute House in Edinburgh.

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Alex Salmond court case: The charges in full

Mr Salmond denies all 14 charges and promised to defend himself “vigorously”.

What will happen at the trial?

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The 15 members of the public who make up the jury will listen to evidence from the prosecution before deciding if any of the charges against Salmond have been proven “beyond reasonable doubt”.

Over the course of the trial chief prosecutor Alex Prentice QC and Gordon Jackson QC, who is leading Mr Salmond’s defence, will question witnesses called by the crown prosecution.

Following this the legal team of Mr Salmond can call forward their own witnesses, potentially including the former First Minister, though he is not obliged to do so.

How will the trial conclude?

Unless Mr Salmond is acquitted, the jury will retire at the end of the trial before reaching one of the following verdicts: guilty, not guilty, not proven.

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This decision does not need to be unanimous - just eight of 15 jurors are required to reach an agreement.

If Mr Salmond is found guilty of any charges, Judge Lady Dorrian will decide what sentence should be imposed.

The trial continues.