Alex Salmond trial told Sturgeon took part in meeting with complainant

Nicola Sturgeon took part in a meeting with a complainant and one of Alex Salmond’s former aides, a witness has told the high court in Edinburgh at the former first minister’s sexual assault trial.

Geoff Aberdein, formerly Salmond’s chief of staff, told the jury he met the complainant and the current first minister in Sturgeon’s office in the Scottish parliament on 29 March 2018.

Salmond, Sturgeon’s predecessor as first minister and Scottish National party leader, is on trial facing 13 charges including one of attempted rape, one of intent to rape, nine charges of sexual assault and two of indecent assault.

Salmond, who denies all the charges, was formally acquitted of a 10th sexual assault allegation on Monday after the charge was withdrawn by the prosecution.

Salmond told the court on Tuesday that the charges were fabrications and exaggerations. He said allegations from at least five complainants were orchestrated or exaggerated.

Giving evidence in the second day of Salmond’s defence case, Aberdein told the court he had two meetings with a complainant in early March. He said that at the second meeting, she told him there had been two retrospective complaints about Salmond.

Questioned by Gordon Jackson QC, Salmond’s lawyer, Aberdein said: “I think she was seeking to make me aware but also to see if Alex Salmond was aware of this, but I didn’t know and I hadn’t spoken to Alex Salmond for some time.”Jackson asked: “Was there ever at any time from her the slightest hint that she was making a complaint about […]

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