Page last updated at 14:15 GMT, Monday, 13 July 2009 15:15 UK

Sheridan denies perjury charges

Advertisement

The Sheridans' solicitor Aamer Anwar made a statement outside the court

Former Solidarity MSP Tommy Sheridan and his wife Gail have pleaded not guilty to charges of perjury.

The couple lodged the pleas during a preliminary hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh.

The charges relate to evidence during Mr Sheridan's defamation victory over the News of the World in 2006 following publication of sex and drugs claims.

The couple, who are both aged 45, were charged with perjury in December 2007 following an investigation by police.

The case will be heard in January next year at the High Court in Glasgow, and could be the longest perjury trial in Scottish legal history, with a prosecution witness list currently extending to more than 180 names.

Paul McBride QC
Paul McBride QC, for Mrs Sheridan, said the trial could last three months

Monday's hearing was the couple's first appearance in open court since they were charged with committing perjury during the civil action, heard in July and August 2006.

The former MSP - who has since lost his seat in Holyrood - took the News of the World publishers to the Court of Session over stories that claimed he cheated on his wife, took part in orgies and visited Cupids, a swingers' club in Manchester.

During 23 days of evidence, News Group Newspapers stoutly defended their allegations - but a jury awarded Mr Sheridan £200,000 after Mrs Sheridan gave powerful evidence to back her husband.

The publishers immediately appealed against the decision but their attempt to overturn the civil jury's verdict was put on hold when a police investigation began.

Mr Sheridan also faces another charge of trying to persuade Colin Fox - also a Scottish Socialist Party MSP at the time - to lie for him in the witness box.

'Surveillance device'

He is accused of confessing to other members of the Scottish Socialist Party's executive committee at a crisis meeting in November 2004 that he had visited Cupids - then denying in court that he had made such a confession.

He is also accused of lying on oath about having sex with a girl at a party in a Glasgow hotel, about his affair with News of the World columnist Anvar Khan, and about taking Danish SSP member Katrine Trolle to his home in Cardonald, Glasgow, for sex.

Mrs Sheridan is accused of lying about a conversation with Ms Trolle and about claims that she was with her husband during the whole of the evening in June 2002 when, it is alleged, he was at the hotel sex party.

Defence advocate Tony Lenehan, for Mr Sheridan, referred to fresh allegations last week about the News of the World being involved in phone tapping and said that in 2007 Tommy Sheridan reported a "surveillance device" found in his car.

Mr Sheridan appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in January.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Sheridans to face perjury trial
27 Jan 09 |  Scotland
Sheridans in court over perjury
27 Mar 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Sheridan perjury court date set
19 Mar 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Sheridan's wife on perjury charge
19 Feb 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Three charged over Sheridan case
15 Feb 08 |  Scotland
Sheridan fury over perjury charge
17 Dec 07 |  Scotland

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific