ALEX Salmond has appeared in court in relation to a series of alleged sex crimes against ten women while First Minister.

The former first minister appeared before Lady Stacey at the High Court in Glasgow for a preliminary hearing.

The proceedings cannot be reported for legal reasons.

Mr Salmond previously appeared at preliminary hearings before Lady Dorrian in January and in November.

Mr Salmond, 65, has entered a not guilty plea to all 14 of the charges he faces and has said he will “vigorously” defend his position.

A four-week criminal trial is scheduled to start on March 9.

HeraldScotland:

The former First Minister is accused of one count of attempted rape, one of sexual assault with intent to rape, ten other counts of sexual assault, and two counts of indecent assault.

The alleged incidents date from June 2008 to November 2014, and nine of the charges relate to alleged incidents at Bute House, his former official residence in Edinburgh.

The indictment alleges Mr Salmond attempted to rape a woman at Bute House in Edinburgh in June 2014.

The former MP and MSP is also accused of sexually assaulting a woman with intent to rape in December 2013.

Mr Salmond was First Minister from 2007 to 2014, resigning after the independence vote.