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Woman Was ‘Humiliated and Scared’, Sex Crimes Trial of Former SNP Leader Alex Salmond Told

© AP Photo / Scott HeppellScotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, looks on at a No campaigner sign during a walkabout in Ellon, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, looks on at a No campaigner sign during a walkabout in Ellon, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 - Sputnik International
Alex Salmond led the Scottish National Party (SNP) for 20 years and was the head of Scotland’s semi-autonomous government from 2007 to 2014. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has described him as her “mentor.”

The former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, attempted to rape a woman at Bute House, his official residence in Edinburgh, his trial has been told.

The first witness, known for legal reasons as Woman H, told the court Salmond tried to rape her in May 2014 after a dinner for supporters of Scottish independence.

She said she wanted to “get away and call someone” for but was “embarrassed, humiliated and scared.”

​Woman H said: “I wish in hindsight I’d screamed or kicked him in the nuts but I was just so frozen.”

She said she ran upstairs to get her possessions but said Salmond blocked her exit from the room.

“He didn’t want me to go. He had his arm over me again and was touching me and kissing me. He kept asking me to stay over,” she said.

Asked why she did not go to the police at the time, she said: "I didn't speak to anybody because I felt that I had done something wrong almost and I didn't want people to know.”

Salmond, 65, faces 14 charges - one allegation of attempted rape, 11 of sexual assaults and two of indecent assaults – involving 10 women between 2008 and 2014. He denies all the charges.

The trial, which is expected to last for four weeks, began on Monday, 9 March, at the High Court in Edinburgh.

​The presiding judge is Lady Leeona Dorrian, who told the jury the defendant was a "very well known public figure" but told them his politics were irrelevant and they must reach a verdict based on "the evidence and nothing else.”

Salmond, who is being defended by Gordon Jackson QC, is pleading not guilty on the grounds of consent to four of the charges and not guilty by alibi on another charges.

​Salmond stepped down as leader of the SNP after they lost the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014 and resigned from the party four years later in order to fight the allegations, which were first printed in the Daily Record newspaper.

The trial continues.

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