THE former chief executive of the SNP, Peter Murrell, has been charged in connection with the embezzlement of funds from the Scottish National Party. 

After being rearrested on Thursday morning, Police Scotland later confirmed that the 59-year-old Murrell had been charged. 

It said: "A 59 year old man has today, Thursday, 18 April, 2024, been charged in connection with the embezzlement of funds from the Scottish National Party. 

"The man, who was arrested at 9.13am today and had previously been arrested as a suspect on 5 April, 2023, was charged at 6.35pm after further questioning by Police Scotland detectives investigating the funding and finances of the party. 

READ MORE: Peter Murrell resigns SNP membership following embezzlement charge

"A report will be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in due course. 

"The man is no longer in police custody. 

"The matter is active for the purposes of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and the public are therefore advised to exercise caution if discussing it on social media". 

Murrell, who is the husband of former first minister Nicola Sturgeon, was arrested last April as part of Police Scotland's probe into the party's finances.

Police Scotland officers searched the couple's home near Glasgow and also arrested Sturgeon and former SNP treasurer Colin Beattie before releasing all three without charge pending further investigation. 

The National:

The arrests were made in relation to Operation Branchform - an investigation into the use of £600,000 of donations made to the party for independence campaigning. 

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."

The party added that Murrell had resigned his membership. 

A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) 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.”