Tommy Sheridan to stand trial for perjury over libel case

Former socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan is to face trial on perjury charges in connection with his successful £200,000 libel action against the News of the World.

Sheridan was served today with legal papers confirming that the prosecution against him will go ahead – more than a year after he was charged by police.

His wife Gail was also served with an indictment over perjury charges.

Sheridan, who recently appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, was awarded £200,000 in damages after he took the News of the World to court in 2006.

The indictment contains a charge of perjury and another charge of attempting to persuade someone else to commit perjury. His wife faces one charge of perjury.

Sheridan was initially arrested under suspicon of perjury in December 2007, after an investigation into allegations that he lied under oath during his libel trial.

In October 2006, the News of the World revealed that it had a 40-minute secret video tape which “proved beyond doubt” that the MSP had committed perjury during his sensational five-week defamation case against the paper in July and August of that year.

The jury awarded Sheridan record Scottish libel damages for allegations that he was a swinger and had been unfaithful to his wife Gail.

After the libel award, the News of the World published a front-page splash and 10 pages of inside coverage inside, declaring: “Cheating Tommy Sheridan is today once and for all exposed as a LIAR, an ADULTERER and a HYPOCRITE.”

The tabloid claimed that on the tape Sheridan admits he visited Cupids swingers’ club in Manchester on at least two occasions – accusations denied by Sheridan during the defamation case.

It also said that Sheridan admitted on tape that he told an executive meeting of the Scottish Socialist Party that he had visited Cupids despite denying this at the trial.

During the Sheridan libel trial Scottish Socialist Party leader Colin Fox and MSPs Carolyn Leckie and Rosie Kane were among SSP officials to testify that Sheridan had confessed to visiting swingers’ clubs.

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