Former SNP MP McGarry’s embezzlement trial postponed

Natalie McGarry denies allegedly embezzling more than £25,000 from two Scottish independence organisations.

Former SNP MP McGarry’s embezzlement trial postponed SNS Group
Glasgow Sheriff Court: Natalie McGarry's trial has been postponed.

Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry, who has been accused of embezzling more than £25,000 from two Scottish independence organisations, has had her trial in May postponed. 

McGarry, who represented Glasgow East, allegedly embezzled the cash between April 2013 and August 2015.

The 39-year-old, of the city’s Clarkston, denies the two charges.

On Tuesday, McGarry had her attendance at a hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court excused.

McGarry’s defence counsel Allan MacLeod said the defence will not be ready for trial as it is awaiting the recovery of documents.

Mr MacLeod said: “We have been told that this can’t be done before the set trial date

“There was a time scale of possibly six to eight months but I have to say this is unrealistic.

“It can’t take that long to go through the amount of material that’s there.”

Sheriff Tom Hughes said: “The concerns are that it’s obvious the court is extremely busy to try and catch up with the outstanding business.

“I suggest I fix a date in June for this trial to give sufficient time for carrying out investigations.

“There will be nothing set in stone.”

The case will call on the May trial date as a hearing in order to find out the progress of the investigations.

Prosecutors claim McGarry embezzled £21,000 while treasurer for Women for Independence between April 26, 2013 and November 30, 2015.

It is alleged she transferred cash made from fundraising events into her own personal accounts and failed to send the donations intended for Perth and Kinross food bank and the charity Positive Prisons Positive Futures.

She then allegedly used cheques – held in the name of Women for Independence – to deposit money into her accounts.

The second charge states McGarry embezzled £4661 between April 9, 2014 and August 10, 2015.

It is alleged that – while McGarry was treasurer, secretary and convenor of Glasgow Regional Association of the SNP – she used cheques drawn from their bank account to pay expenses not incurred by the group.

Prosecutors claim McGarry retained reimbursements intended to settle expenses which she was not entitled to.

The charge goes on to say McGarry used cheques and money from donations to the organisation to deposit money to her own accounts.