Prosecutors yet to receive police report on Peter Murrell's embezzlement charge

Nicola Sturgeon's husband was charged in connection with embezzlement of SNP funds a week ago - but police have yet to send report to the Crown.

Prosecutors yet to receive police report on Peter Murrell’s SNP embezzlement charge Getty Images

Prosecutors have yet to receive a report from Police Scotland one week after officers charged Nicola Sturgeon’s husband in connection with embezzlement of SNP funds.

Police refused to comment on the ongoing investigation but the Crown Office confirmed to STV News that it had not received a report.

Peter Murrell, who was chief executive of the party for 22 years, was arrested and taken to Falkirk Police Station on April 18.

He was questioned for hours before becoming the first and only person to be charged in Police Scotland’s Operation Branchform.

Police launched the investigation into the SNP’s funding and finances in 2021 following allegations about how £600,000 of cash earmarked for independence campaigning was spent.

Officers previously said a report would be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) in “due course”.

‘incredibly difficult’ time for Nicola Sturgeon and family

Speaking to journalists outside her home in Uddingston, Sturgeon said it was an “incredibly difficult” time for her and her family following her husband’s charge but she refused to say anymore.

Humza Yousaf said the news was a “serious, serious development”.

“Peter has been charged, where the allegation of embezzlement from party funds, and that’s a really serious matter indeed,” the First Minister said.

“Many people from the SNP, right across Scottish politics, will be shocked by the news.

“This is an ongoing investigation, police, the Crown, have a job to do, just as I have a job to do as First Minister.”

Peter Murrell arrives home after being charged with embezzlement

Murrell was previously arrested in April last year but released at that point without charge, pending further investigation.

Police at the time set up large tents outside the home he shares with Sturgeon as they searched the property.

Sturgeon and former SNP treasurer Colin Beattie were also both arrested last year and released pending further investigation.

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.”

A spokesperson for the COPFS confirmed to STV News that there had been no change since its statement last week.

COPFS previously said: “Senior professional prosecutors from COPFS and an Advocate Depute are working with police on this ongoing investigation.

“It is standard practice that any case regarding politicians is dealt with by prosecutors without the involvement of the Lord Advocate or Solicitor General. All Scotland’s prosecutors act independently of political interference.

“As is routine, to protect the integrity of ongoing investigations, we do not comment in detail on their conduct.”

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