Ex-Scots leader Nicola Sturgeon arrested in financial probe

Former Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Former Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Ken Jack/Getty Images

Nicola Sturgeon, the ex-First Minister of Scotland, was arrested on Sunday in connection with a law enforcement investigation into the finances of the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP), officials said.

Police Scotland, the country’s national police force, confirmed in a statement that a “52-year-old woman … has been arrested as a suspect in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party”. The woman was “in police custody and is being questioned by detectives from Police Scotland”, Police Scotland added.

While officials in the UK are not naming suspects until they are charged, BBC News identified the person arrested as Sturgeon, and its spokesperson later told the outlet that it “attended to an interview where she was to be arrested and interrogated”.

“Nicola has always said she would cooperate with the investigation if asked and continues to do so,” the spokesperson added.

Sturgeon took over as First Minister and leader of the SNP in 2014 and was seen as a dominant force in politics, becoming one of the strongest supporters of Scottish independence from the UK. United. However, she shocked the country last February when she announced her resignation as prime minister, saying she knew “in my head and in my heart” that it was time to step down.

His arrest is part of an investigation known as Operation Branchform, an investigation into “allegations that the [SNP] spent more than £600,000 on donations for an independence campaign,” The Guardian reported. Sturgeon’s arrest comes just over two months after her husband, former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, also been arrested in connection with the investigation.

Murrell was questioned for 12 hours before being released without charge, The Guardian reported. Police also searched Sturgeon and Murrell’s home and the SNP headquarters, as well as arresting party treasurer Colin Beattie, who was also released without charge.

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