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Last Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008, 15:58 GMT
Three charged over Sheridan case
Rosemary Byrne - picture courtesy of the Scottish Parliament
Rosemary Byrne gave evidence in the defamation case
A female former MSP is among three people who have been charged with perjury in connection with the Tommy Sheridan defamation case.

Rosemary Byrne, 59, Jock Penman, 58, and Graham McIver, 39, were arrested and charged over the past week.

A report is due to be sent to the procurator fiscal.

Mr Sheridan, the former leader of the SSP and Glasgow MSP, was charged with perjury last December in connection with the damages case he won in 2006.

The News of the World was ordered to pay 200,000 to the politician, who left the Scottish Socialist Party to form left-wing party Solidarity.

The case focused on a series of lurid allegations the paper made about Mr Sheridan's private life.

We consider this to be nothing more than a political witch-hunt
Jim Monaghan

However, during the trial, defamation case witnesses gave conflicting evidence about the circumstances of the allegations.

Two months after the proceedings concluded, prosecutors ordered police to carry out a criminal investigation into allegations of perjury.

A spokesman for Solidarity, Jim Monaghan, confirmed that Ms Byrne had been charged with perjury on Tuesday.

Party member

The party also said that Mr Penman and Mr McIver had been charged with perjury, although Lothian and Borders Police said they were unable to confirm the charge.

Mr Monaghan said: "We consider this to be nothing more than a political witch-hunt."

He said Ms Byrne would not be speaking publicly on the matter, but added that she had co-operated fully with the police investigation.

"She [Ms Byrne] went voluntarily to the police station, was interviewed and cautioned and was released afterwards," said Mr Monaghan.

Ms Byrne is co-convenor of Solidarity and it is understood that Mr Penman is a member of the party.

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