Nicola Sturgeon statement in full after her release without charge following arrest over SNP finances
Nicola Sturgeon has released a statement after being released without charge following her arrest over an investigation into the SNP’s finances. The former first minister of Scotland was taken into custody and questioned over the weekend.
Sturgeon was released on Sunday (June 11), and she soon made a statement via social media. She said: "To find myself in the situation I did when I am certain I have committed no offence is both a shock and deeply distressing.
"I know that this ongoing investigation is difficult for people, and I am grateful that so many continue to show faith in me and appreciate that I would never do anything to harm either the SNP or the country. Obviously, given the nature of this process, I cannot go into detail. However, I do wish to say this, and to do so in the strongest possible terms.
"Innocence is not just a presumption I am entitled to in law. I know beyond doubt that I am in fact innocent of any wrongdoing. To the many people who have sent messages of support over these past difficult weeks - including since [the] news broke - thank you for your kindness. Thank you also to my close circle of family and friends who are giving me much-needed strength at this time.”
The Glasgow MP ended her statement by saying she would take a couple of days to process the development, but hopes to return to her role serving the Glasgow Southside. She said: "Finally, while I will take a day or two to process this latest development, I intend to be back in parliament soon where I will continue to represent my Glasgow Southside constituents to the very best of my ability.”
Following her release, Police Scotland released a statement that said: "A 52-year-old woman who was arrested [on] Sunday 11 June 2023, as a suspect in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party, has been released without charge pending further investigation.
"The woman was questioned by Police Scotland detectives after she was arrested at 10.09am. She was released from custody at 5.24pm. A report will be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service."
Sturgeon is the latest public figure to be detained as part of Police Scotland’s Operation Branchfrom into the whereabouts of £600,000 of funding that had been earmarked for a second independence vote.
Her arrest came after the detentions of party treasurer Colin Beattie and former party chief executive Peter Murrell, who is also Ms Sturgeon’s husband, who were both subsequently released without charge.