Jury retires in embezzlement trial of former SNP MP Natalie McGarry

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The jury has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of a former SNP MP accused of embezzling more than £25,000 from two pro-independence groups.

Sheriff Tom Hughes told jurors to ignore the publicity the trial of Natalie McGarry has attracted and focus solely on the evidence presented to Glasgow Sheriff Court.

McGarry, 40, is accused of embezzling £21,000 while treasurer of Women for Independence between April 26, 2013 and November 30, 2015.

The ex-Glasgow East MP is also accused of taking £4,661 between April 9, 2014 and August 10, 2015 when she was treasurer, secretary and convener of the Glasgow Regional Association of the SNP.

Addressing the 14 jurors, Mr Hughes said: “Remember that you have taken an oath or affirmation. This requires you to base any verdict only on evidence that you have heard in this court.

“You promised to return a true verdict in accordance with the evidence.

“You must put out of your mind anything you heard on TV, radio or read in a newspaper, anything you have read about the accused.

“You, ladies and gentlemen, are in a privileged position. You have been able to sit and listen to all of the evidence. It is now for you to consider.”

Jurors were told that in order to convict McGarry, they would have to be confident beyond reasonable doubt that the funds were misappropriated and used dishonestly.

McGarry, of Clarkston, East Renfrewshire, denies both charges against her.

The six-week trial has heard evidence from several witnesses, including current and former Scottish health secretaries Humza Yousaf and Jeane Freeman.

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