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Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry will stand trial in May for embezzling more than £ 25,000 from two Scottish pro-independence organizations.
Ms McGarry, who represented Glasgow East, allegedly embezzled the money between April 2013 and August 2015.
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The 39-year-old Clarkston denies both charges.
He was excused from attending the Glasgow Sheriff’s Court hearing, which was scheduled for a six-week trial on May 4.
Ms. McGarry’s defense attorney, Allan McLeod, told the court’s health secretary that Jeane Freeman was “perhaps the lead witness in this case.”
However, he has raised concerns about her availability during the process, which begins two days before the Scottish Parliament elections.
“She is not in the elections and she will not be Minister of Health at the beginning of the process,” he said.
“I cannot imagine when a new Health Minister will be appointed … that she will pack her bags without looking back.
“There will be training for a new secretary of health with complex issues, and the document does not intend to detract from this important work.”
Sheriff Andrew Cubie responded that it was not known whether Ms. Freeman would continue to serve in an advisory role.
Mrs McGarry embezzled £ 21,000 between April 16, 2013 and November 30, 2015
According to prosecutors, Ms McGarry embezzled £ 21,000 between April 16, 2013 and November 30, 2015 when she was Treasurer for Women for Independence.
She allegedly transferred money from the fundraising campaigns to her own accounts instead of sending the donations for the Perth and Kinross Food Bank and Positive Prisons Positive Charity Futures.
She allegedly used checks on behalf of Women for Independence to fund her accounts.
The second charge is that Ms McGarry embezzled £ 4,661 between April 9, 2014 and August 10, 2015.
Ms McGarry, while she was treasurer, secretary and organizer of the SNP’s Glasgow Regional Association, is believed to have used checks on her bank account to pay expenses not incurred by the group.
According to the prosecutor, Ms. McGarry kept the reimbursements to cover expenses to which she was not entitled.
Prosecutors went on to say that Ms. McGarry used checks and money from donations to the organization to deposit funds into her own accounts.
Sheriff Cubie has bailed him out in the meantime.