Former MP Natalie McGarry embezzlement trial postponed until 2022

Former SNP MP is accused of embezzling more than £25,000 from two Scottish independence organisations.

Former MP Natalie McGarry embezzlement trial postponed until 2022 Getty Images

Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry – accused of embezzling more than £25,000 from two Scottish independence organisations – has had her trial moved to next year.

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

The 40-year-old, of the city’s Clarkston, denies the two charges and was set to stand trial in September.

McGarry had her attendance at a hearing in Glasgow Sheriff Court on Tuesday excused.

McGarry’s defence counsel Allan MacLeod asked for the case to be adjourned. He said the defence are awaiting a commissioner reviewing evidence.

This includes probing emails.

Prosecutor Alistair Mitchell said the news was “hugely frustrating” but stated there had been a “material change” since the last hearing of the case.

Sheriff Tom Hughes said: “Matters have been fully conveyed to me.

“I need to see that both sides are prepared and I’m sure the Crown want to consider its position.

“I will need to grant the motion.

“It’s unfortunate the date has to be next year due to the constraints of the court and this is time that can be utilised by the court.”

The case will call again as a pre-trial hearing in February in which McGarry’s attendance has been excused. The trial date has been set for April 4, 2022.

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 to which she was not entitled.

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