The trial of former First Minister Alex Salmond on multiple charges of attempted rape and sexual assault will not begin until late January at the earliest, BBC Scotland has learned.
Mr Salmond was charged with a total of 14 offences on 24 January this year.
They include two charges of attempted rape, nine of sexual assault, two of indecent assault and a breach of the peace.
He strongly denies all of the allegations against him.
BBC Scotland understands that the indictment in the case is not expected to be served until October, with an initial hearing in the case currently pencilled in for 18 November.
The trial would then be scheduled to start before a jury at the High Court towards the end of January.
Mr Salmond was Scotland’s first minister between 2007 and 2014, when he stood down following the independence referendum.
Police launched an investigation following a Scottish government inquiry into complaints of sexual harassment against him.
Mr Salmond launched a judicial review against the government over how it had handled its inquiry, saying he had been treated unfairly – with the government later conceding its procedures had been flawed.
Alex Salmond’s political career
- He was twice leader of the SNP, and led the party into government at Holyrood in 2007
- Mr Salmond left office after the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, with his former deputy Nicola Sturgeon taking his place in Bute House
- He returned to Westminster as an MP the following year, but lost his Gordon seat in the snap election in 2017
- Mr Salmond has since worked as a talk show host on Russian network RT
- He quit the SNP when launching his legal action against the Scottish government in 2018