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by Staff Reporter
18 April 2024
Peter Murrell charged with embezzlement in probe into SNP finances

Peter Murrell charged with embezzlement in probe into SNP finances

Former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell has been charged with embezzlement as part of a long-running police investigation into the party’s finances.

Murrell, the husband of former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, was re-arrested today as part of Operation Branchform and later charged.

In a statement released this evening, Police Scotland said: “A 59-year-old man has today, Thursday, 18 April, 2024, been charged in connection with the embezzlement of funds from the Scottish National Party.

“The man, who was arrested at 9.13am today and had previously been arrested as a suspect on 5 April, 2023, was charged at 6.35pm after further questioning by Police Scotland detectives investigating the funding and finances of the party.

“A report will be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in due course. The man is no longer in police custody.”

Murrell is understood to have resigned his membership of the SNP.

An SNP spokesperson said:  “While this development will come as a shock, the police investigation remains ongoing and it would, therefore, be inappropriate to make any comment.”

Following Murrell’s arrest last year, both Sturgeon and former SNP treasurer Colin Beattie were arrested and later released without charge.

Operation Branchform, which was launched in 2021, is investigating allegations that more than £600,000 raised to campaign for another independence referendum was used for other means.

In its statement, Police Scotland said: “As this investigation is ongoing we are unable to comment further.

“The matter is active for the purposes of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and the public are therefore advised to exercise caution if discussing it on social media.”

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