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    MSP Tommy Sheridan and wife begin perjury trial


    by ODN


    A secretary who took notes at an emergency Scottish Socialist Party meeting has told a court that former MSP Tommy Sheridan admitted he had twice visited a swingers' club.

    Barbara Jane Scott said Mr Sheridan said he had a "flaw" in his character and a "weakness".

    Mr Sheridan and his wife Gail, both 46, are on trial at the High Court in Glasgow accused of perjury.

    The couple, from Glasgow, are accused of lying under oath during Sheridan's successful 2006 defamation action against the News of the World. They deny the allegations against them.

    Mr Sheridan, a former contestant on Celebrity Big Brother, won £200,000 in damages after the newspaper printed allegations about his private life.

    The seven-page indictment contains three charges in total, two of which are broken down into a number of sub-sections.

    Mr Sheridan denies lying to the courts during his case, which followed the newspaper's claims that he was an adulterer who had visited a swingers' club.

    It is alleged he made false statements as a witness in the defamation action on July 21 2006.

    He also denies another charge of attempting to persuade a witness, Colin Fox, to commit perjury shortly before the 23-day legal action got under way.

    Mrs Sheridan denies making false statements on July 31 2006 after being sworn in as a witness in the civil jury trial at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

    Ms Scott said the executive committee was "terrified" Mr Sheridan would be named in the press following the publication of the News of the World story. She said he was advised to apologise and resign as convenor of the party.

    Mr Sheridan has been one of Scotland's most controversial and outspoken political figures for the last two decades.