PROSECUTORS have released “a number of documents” at the heart of claims Alex Samond was the victim of a high-level plot to destroy and even jail him.

The Crown Office handed over the material - described by Mr Salmond as “probably the most shocking thing I have seen in my life”, to the Scottish Parliament after being set a noon deadline.

It followed the Holyrood inquiry into the Salmond affair last week usingits powers under Section 23 of the Scotland Act to compel the production of the documents.

The inquiry had asked for messages between three senior SNP personnel and Nicola Sturgeon’s top aide.

The cross-party committee is looking at how the Scottish Government bungled a probe into sexual misconduct claims made against Mr Salmond in 2018.

The former First Minister had the exercise set aside in a judicial review, showing it was “tainted by apparent bias”, a Government flaw that left taxpayers with a £512,000 bill.

Shortly after he won his civil case against the Government, he was charged with sexual assault, leading to a High Court trial last year at which he was acquitted on all counts.

The inquiry recently used its powers to obtain text and WhatsApp messages from the Crown Office, which had been gathered for the trial, but decided not to publish them.

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But in written evidence to the inquiry, Mr Salmond said the Crown was withholding other material which would show senior SNP figures tried to ruin him and even have him jailed.

He said it was doing so to shield "some of the most powerful people in the country".

He singled out Ms Sturgeon’s husband, the SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, the party’s chief operating officer Susan Ruddick, its compliance officer Ian McCann, and Ms Sturgeon’s chief of staff Liz Lloyd.

Mr Salmond said the four had been part of “a deliberate, prolonged, malicious and concerted effort amongst a range of individuals within the Scottish Government and the SNP to damage my reputation, even to the extent of having me imprisoned”.

In his oral evidence last week, Mr Salmond said all four should lose their jobs, as well as Crown Office head the Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC, and the Government’s top official, the Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans.

He also said the day he had been shown the messages as part of the pre-trial disclosure process had been one of the most distressing of his life.

He tried to have the material shown to the jury, but trial judge Lady Dorrian refused.

Mr Salmond was later threatened with prosecution by the Crown Office if he tried to share the material directly with the inquiry.

READ MORE: John Swinney didn't try to release Alex Salmond legal advice until his job on the line

Ms Sturgeon has repeatedly denied there was any plot against Mr Salmond.

She last week accused him of creating an “alternative reality” in which he sees himself as a victim, rather than confronting his “behaviour” with women.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Parliament said: “The Crown Office has provided a number of documents. In line with the Committee’s statement on the handling of information, this will now be processed before being considered by the Committee members.

"These will not be published today.”