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Alex Salmond, Scottish Independence Leader, Charged With Sexual Assault and Attempted Rape

Alex Salmond, the former first minister of Scotland who led the country to the brink of independence in 2014’s referendum, has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and two of attempted rape. Salmond has been under investigation by Scottish police for months following allegations that he sexually harassed multiple women. He stepped down as first minister after he lost 2014’s independence referendum, and has since won and lost a seat in the British parliament for the Scottish National Party, but he remains a talismanic figure among supporters of independence. He’s charged with 14 offenses: one of breach of the peace, two of indecent assault, nine of sexual assault, as well as the two of attempted rape. Salmond arrived at court Thursday afternoon local time to shouts of “freedom!” and “shame on you!” Appearing outside the court in Edinburgh after hearing the charges, he said: “I refute absolutely these allegations of criminality and I’ll defend myself to the utmost in court.”