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Nicola Sturgeon has challenged Alex Salmond to prove there was a conspiracy against him, saying he has made claims “without a shred of evidence”.
Mr Salmond is due to give evidence to the Holyrood inquiry into the government’s mishandling of harassment complaints against him later this week.
He says he has “documentary evidence” of a “malicious and concerted” attempt to remove him from public life.
But the first minister said any claims of a conspiracy were “not true”.
And she said Mr Salmond had an “obligation” to “replace the insinuation and assertion we have heard over