Nicola Sturgeon says she has not been questioned by police over its investigation into the SNP’s finances.
The former first minister was visibly emotional as she spoke to reporters at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.
It’s the first she has been inside Holyrood since her husband Peter Murrell was arrested on April 5.
She told journalists she could not have anticipated the events the SNP had recently faced in her “worst nightmares”.
The former SNP leader said: “What I will say upfront is that I’m not going to go into any detail that impinges on a live police investigation, there are many questions that I would want to be able to answer and in the fullness of time I hope I will answer, but it would be wrong and inappropriate for me to go into any detail of what the police are currently investigating.
“I understand the view that some people might have, that I knew this was all about to unfold and that’s why I walked away.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. I could not have anticipated in my worst nightmares what would have unfolded over the past few weeks.”
Sturgeon admitted, “now is not the easiest time” for her or her party.
“Clearly, the events of the past few weeks have been difficult, and I use this word advisedly and deliberately, in some respects very traumatic,” she said.
She said she had not been questioned by police and that she had never used a “burner phone” but refused to answer other questions on the investigation, such as on the SNP’s luxury campervan which was seized by officers.
“One of the frustrating aspects of that is that I’m not able to give my version of what is going on just now,” she said.
“Hopefully the time will come when I can do that so I appreciate the concern, I appreciate the frustration but that’s the nature of the police process.”
Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “Nicola Sturgeon might have taken some questions but she has given no answers.
“Her attempt to downplay the extraordinary chaos we’re seeing in the SNP is an insult to the public’s intelligence.
“That Nicola Sturgeon is proud of a leadership that failed even by its own metrics and ended in the grotesque spectacle of a police raid on her home shows that she has completely lost touch.
“The same old secrecy and spin from Nicola Sturgeon won’t cut it anymore – we need real answers about the scandal and sleaze engulfing the SNP.”
Scottish Conservative chairman Craig Hoy said: “This brief appearance was little more than a PR exercise for Nicola Sturgeon, given that she could not, or would not, answer any of the key questions the public demand answers to.
“The former First Minister is adamant that she had no prior knowledge of how this scandal might unfold and that it played no part in her resignation. But the police have been investigating the missing £600k for almost two years and, sooner or later, senior figures in the SNP were always going to be asked for an explanation.
“There have been plenty of absurd claims made by SNP politicians as civil war and scandal has taken hold, but few can match Nicola Sturgeon’s insistence that Humza Yousaf is doing an ‘outstanding’ job and her party is in ‘good shape’.”