THE pivotal court document from the Scottish Government’s doomed legal battle with Alex Salmond has finally been published.

The Holyrood inquiry into the Salmond affair today released the open record, which sets out the detailed pleadings of each side, ahead of evidence hearings resuming on Tuesday.

The document runs to more than 100 pages.

The Government initially suggested the pleadings belonged to the court and could not be released to the inquiry.

However SNP ministers and the former first minister later agreed to the release of a redacted version of their own copy.

It catalogues weeks of to-ing and fro-ing between the two sides in late 2018 over legal arguments and defences and the sharing of Government documents with Mr Salmond's lawyers.

The Government's top law officer, the Lord Advocate James Wolffe, admitted last month that the Government's mishandling of this process ultimately added to the bill to the public purse.

The belated disclosure of key information was "unsatisfactory", with material released "very late in the day", he said, leading to higher than usual costs being awarded against the Government.

MSPs are looking at how the Government botched a probe into sexual misconduct claims made against Mr Salmond in 2018.

He launched a crowd-funded judicial review at the Court of Session contesting its findings.

He succeeded in having the whole exercise set aside, or ‘reduced’, after showing it was unfair, unlawful and “tainted by apparent bias”.

The Government’s mistake - it appointed an investigating officer who was in prior contact with his accusers instead of someone unconnected to the case - left taxpayers with a £512,000 bill for Mr Salmond’s costs.

When the Government’s case collapsed in January 2019, Ms Sturgeon gave an undertaking to parliament to “provide whatever material” the inquiry requested.

However her officials and ministers have since tried to block witnesses and withheld swathes of evidence, citing “legal privilege” despite waiving it for three judge-led inquiries.

In recent weeks, after MSPs complained of high-level “obstruction”, there has been more movement on the release of evidence.

However Mr Salmond this week had to be given a “firm request” to make his written submission by October 27 after missing three previous deadlines dating back to August 4.

The former FM’s has said various legal obstacles stop him providing the full account the inquiry deserves, including material from his separate criminal trial at which he was acquitted of 13 counts of sexual assault.

This is a developing story.