Alex Salmond denies sex assaults while he was First Minister
Alex Salmond has denied multiple charges of attempted rape and sexual assault while he was First Minister.
Mr Salmond is accused of carrying out sex acts on ten different women at various locations between 2008 and 2014.
The 14 charges include two attempted rapes, ten sexual assaults and two indecent assaults.
At Bute House on June 13, 2014, the indictment states he placed a woman's legs over his, repeatedly kissed her neck and face, groped her, then blocked her path.
Salmond is then said to have pinned her against a wall, pulled at her clothes and stripped himself naked before trying to rape her on a bed.
He has previously denied the allegations and said he will defend himself “to the utmost” in court.
Following the hearing, which took place at the High Court in Edinburgh, Salmond said: "I am innocent and I will defend myself vigorously."
Salmond's statement outside the High Court in Edinburgh.
In a statement outside of court Mr Salmond said:
"We have launched a defence statement with the court, it pleads not guilty to all charges and explains some of the circumstances in which they've come about.
"I'm also conscious we're in the middle of a general election campaign and i'm not going to say anything that would influence that democratic process.
"We're now into our second year of court actions - first civil and now criminal - it's over ten months since we won the civil action.
"I am innocent, and I will defend my position vigorously. But the only proper place to answer criminal charges is in this court and that's exactly what we intend to do next spring."
Mr Salmond, from Linlithgow, West Lothian, was the Scottish first minister from 2007 to 2014.
The 64-year-old guided the party a Scottish election win in 2007 and then became Scotland’s first SNP First Minister.
The result of the 2014 referendum led to him step down as First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party.
Judge Lady Dorrian continued the preliminary hearing until January 22 and set a trial date for March 9, which is expected to last four weeks.