IT TOOK THE SNP EIGHT MONTHS TO CONTACT THE POLICE AFTER SALMOND ALLEGATIONS WERE FIRST MADE
28 August 2018
By Rachel Watson and Graham Grant
Legal experts sounded a warning over the Alex Salmond sexual misconduct claims after it emerged police were only told about the allegations eight months after they were made.
They fear any police investigation could be ‘compromised’ because of the amount of time taken before detectives were alerted.
The Scottish Daily Mail yesterday learned that Police Scotland first became aware of the serious allegations facing the former first minister last Tuesday – eight months after the initial complaints were made.
A former top police officer and senior lawyers have claimed the decision to not share information with police while conducting their own inquiry could mean the Government’s probe has a ‘distorting effect’ on any criminal proceedings.
It emerged last Thursday that the former SNP leader was facing allegations of sexual misconduct made by two staff when he was first minister in 2013.
The Daily Record reported it had seen a detailed complaint about how a female
Aide found herself alone with Mr Salmond after an official event.
He is alleged to have told the woman to go into his room and then get into bed. It is claimed he lay on top of her and kissed and touched her breasts and bottom, through her clothes. He stopped after she asked him to, the reports allege.
Police Scotland has confirmed it is ‘assessing’ the claims.
Mr Salmond has launched a judicial review in the Court of Session because he does not accept the legality of the Government’s investigation process. In other developments yesterday: Mr Salmond revealed he had written to Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans seeking an investigation into alleged leaks within the Scottish Government.
Nicola Sturgeon said no one is ‘above the law’ as she faced questions over her predecessor’s behaviour.
The Scottish Labour party submitted Freedom of Information requests in a bid to obtain details of three meetings held between Miss Sturgeon and Mr Salmond in which they discussed the complaints.
Scottish Tories called for Mrs Evans to launch an independent review into complaints as they demanded to know if concerns had been raised previously.
One former officer told this newspaper of concerns that a potential police inquiry into allegations of misconduct against Mr Salmond could have been ‘compromised’ by the Government..
That came after it was revealed that Mrs Evans did not tell the police of the serious complaints until last week.
A spokesman for Mr Salmond said: ‘Someone within the Government has breached the requirement for confidentiality and the Permanent Secretary is required to find out who it was.’
Miss Sturgeon denied any ‘fishing expedition’ to get more complaints against Mr Salmond, despite urging women who may have complaints to come forward and said: ‘Nobody is above the rules.’