Former MSP Sheridan charged with perjury

FORMER socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan was last night charged with perjury.

The perjury charge follows Mr Sheridan's case against the News of the World at the Court of Session in August 2006.

The family home of the former member of the Scottish parliament was searched last night while the politician was being charged.

Nine officers from Lothian and Borders police detained Tommy Sheridan’s wife Gail at the house in the Cardonald area of Glasgow while they carried out a search of the property, it was confirmed by his lawyer.

The father-of-one was approached and asked to accompany police officers to the station outside Talk107 radio in Edinburgh.

The station said: “Three plain clothes police officers got out and asked Tommy to get into the back of their vehicle.

He was first allowed to collect an item from his car.

“The officers talked to Tommy in the back of their unmarked car for three to four minutes, after which time he was driven away.”

Mr Sheridan was awarded £200,000 (€278,000) damages following a defamation case against the News of the World last year.

Prosecution authorities later instructed the police to investigate allegations of perjury by witnesses during the trial.

The perjury claims follow Mr Sheridan’s case against the Sunday tabloid at the Court of Session in August 2006.

At the time a jury of six men and five women dismissed the paper’s claims the Socialist MSP was a serial adulterer and swinger who used drugs.

The 23-day trial, in which several members of the Scottish Socialist Party gave evidence against Mr Sheridan, led to a split, with Mr Sheridan later establishing the rival party Solidarity.

Prosecution authorities later instructed the police to investigate allegations of perjury by witnesses during the trial.

The tabloid said at the time it planned to appeal against the verdict.

That move was put on hold in September of this year when judges agreed that the proceedings should be suspended until the Crown inquiry into perjury allegations resulting from the case was resolved.

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