Jurors to continue considering verdict in Alex Salmond sexual assault trial

Jurors will return to court on Monday to continue considering their verdicts in the trial of former first minister Alex Salmond.

Salmond, 65, denies 13 alleged sexual offences against nine women, who were all either working for the Scottish Government or within the SNP at the time.

The accusations span a period between June 2008 and November 2014 and range from him stroking a civil servant’s hair to trying to rape a former Scottish Government official in Bute House.

Judge Lady Dorrian on Friday told jurors they must decide whether the charges have been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

High Court in Edinburgh
High Court in Edinburgh

She explained there are three verdicts available: guilty, not guilty and not proven – the latter two both being verdicts of acquittal in the Scottish legal system.

The judge asked the jury to begin considering their verdicts shortly before 2pm on Friday, but were sent home for the weekend and will resume deliberations on Monday morning.

Verdicts can be returned unanimously or by a majority, with at least eight of the 15 jurors needing to agree.

Salmond’s lawyers previously lodged special defences of consent and alibi.

Consent was given as a defence for three alleged sexual assaults and an alleged indecent assault against three women.