A former MP who is accused of embezzling more than £25,000 from two Scottish independence organisations she was involved in has gone on trial.
Natalie McGarry appeared in the dock at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Tuesday where her lawyer, Allan Macleod, said she denied the two embezzlement charges against her.
The 40-year-old is accused of misappropriating £21,000 from Women for Independence between April 26 2013 and November 30 2015.
McGarry, of Clarkston, East Renfrewshire, was treasurer of the campaign group, and is accused of using the organisation’s account to transfer money intended for the Perth and Kinross Foodbank and Glasgow-based Positive Prisons, Positive Futures into her own bank.
And the former politician faces a second charge of embezzling £4661.02 from the Glasgow Regional Association of the SNP between April 9 2014 and August 10 2015.
It is alleged that in the course of her roles as treasurer, secretary and convener of the association, she used cheques drawn on bank accounts held in its name to pay expenses it had not incurred and retained reimbursements to which she was not entitled.
The indictment also alleges McGarry used cheques drawn on bank accounts held in the association’s name to deposit money in her own personal bank accounts, and transferred funds donated to the association through its website into her own accounts.
The jury of seven men and eight women, sitting virtually, were sworn in and Sheriff Tom Hughes told them the trial would last up to six weeks.
And Sheriff Hughes warned them to not do their own research online, and they must reach a verdict only on the evidence they hear in court.
The jury were told the prosecution, lead by procurator fiscal Alastair Mitchell, would lead evidence that McGarry transferred funds from Women for Independence to the total of £7816.46 into her own account between April 26 2013 and November 30 2015.
And the court was told that, between February 1 2014 and June 17 2014, she set up an online crowdfunding campaign to raise money for Yes Glasgow, and transferred £3891.84 collected into her own bank account for her own use.
McGarry was elected as the SNP MP for Glasgow East in 2015, but later served as an independent MP. She did not contest the seat in the 2017 General Election.
Sheriff Hughes said evidence would begin on Wednesday.
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