March 9, 2020
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LONDON – Scottish ex-First Minister Alex Salmond, one of Scotland's best-known politicians, is due to go on trial Monday accused of sex crimes including attempting to rape a woman at the leader's official residence.
Salmond, 65, faces a total of 14 charges — one of attempted rape, 11 alleged sexual assaults and two alleged indecent assaults — against 10 women between 2008 and 2014. He denies all the allegations.
Salmond stood between security guards in the dock at the High Court in Edinburgh at the start of the first day of the trial, which is expected to last four weeks.
Salmond led the pro-independence Scottish National Party for 20 years and headed Scotland's semi-autonomous government as its first minister from 2007 to 2014. The attempted rape allegedly took place in June 2014 at Bute House, the Scottish first minister's house in Edinburgh.
A major figure on the Scottish political stage for decades, he took Scotland to the verge of independence from the U.K. by holding a 2014 referendum on separation. He stepped down as leader after the "remain" side won the vote 55% to 45%.

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