ALlex Salmond’s trial on sexual offence charges will begin in January at the earliest, according to reports.

The former first minister faces multiple sexual offence charges. The number of alleged victims remains unclear.

Mr Salmond was charged with the offences during a private hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on January 24. He denies all of the charges against him.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond says he is innocent of any criminality 

The indictment outlining the full details of the Crown’s case against Mr Salmond will not be served until October, followed by an initial hearing on November 18.

The trial at the High Court will be scheduled to begin at the end of January 2020.

Mr Salmond was first elected as an SNP MP in 1987 and took over as party leader in 1990.

After the creation of the Scottish Parliament, he briefly held the posts of both MP and MSP.

This was before resigning the SNP leadership in 2000 and later returning to Westminster full-time.

In 2004, he resumed the SNP leadership following the resignation of John Swinney and was eventually returned to Holyrood as an MSP in 2007.

His second tenure as leader culminated in the independence referendum which took place in September 2014 and which the Yes side lost 45 per cent to 55%.