Tommy Sheridan and wife appear in court on perjury charge

Former Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan and his wife Gail appeared in court today charged with perjury.

The couple, who appeared in private at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, were released on bail.

Sheridan, 44, was arrested in December after an investigation into allegations of lying under oath during his successful £200,000 action against the News of the World at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

His wife, 44, who was dressed in black trousers, short beige trench coat and dark glasses, was charged with perjury by police last month.

After today’s court appearance, a Crown Office spokesman said: “They were each charged with perjury. Neither made any plea or declaration.”

Sheridan’s supporters gave a huge cheer and clapped as he and his wife came out of the court building.

In a statement outside the court, the couple’s lawyer Aamer Anwar said:

“Both Mr and Mrs Sheridan appeared on petition in private at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. They were charged with perjury and made no plea or declaration.

“I would like to emphasise that there was no charge of theft on the petition.

“The Sheridans would like to thank all of those who have sent hundreds of cards. They are humbled and honoured to receive such generosity and warmth.”

The perjury allegations follow Sheridan’s libel battle with the News of the World, which had published sex and drug allegations against the former Glasgow MSP.

The jury at the libel trial awarded Sheridan £200,000 in damages against the newspaper. but the trial judge said conflicting evidence in the trial might have meant some people were perjuring themselves.

Sheridan and his wife have previously denied the allegations and criticised the way Lothian and Borders Police handled the investigation.

About 30 members of Sheridan’s Solidarity party and supporters of the Defend Tommy Sheridan campaign staged a protest outside the court, holding banners saying “Solidarity” and “Tommy and Gail Your Friends Are With You”.

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