The jury of nine women and six men sworn in for the trial of Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond have been urged to set feelings of “support or animosity” for the former first minister aside during the trial.
Outside the High Court in Edinburgh, supporters of Scottish independence gathered in the Royal Mile to show their support of the cause.
Judge Lady Dorrian, however, instructed the jury to not be swayed by their own personal feelings towards the former SNP leader – while also urging them to ignore media coverage of the trial.
Nearly 50 journalists followed yesterday’s proceedings from within the High Court building.
Lady Dorrian said: “As a juror you need to be guided by your conscience, not by any strong feelings of support or animosity.
“The role that the accused had in public life is irrelevant to the task that you have.
“You will all have your own political views but whether you agree, disagree or are ambivalent to that of the accused, they can play no part in your deliberations.
“They must be cast aside.”
After a 15-minute break to enable members of the jury to consider their positions, there were no concerns raised.
The jurors have also been urged to be “judges not detectives” during the trial by basing their decisions solely on the evidence in court, without carrying out their own research.
Lady Dorrian said: “It is likely that on the internet the accused’s background will be discussed.
“You must not access that material during the trial. I don’t know whether that material exists, but not only is it not evidence, there is also no guarantee it will be accurate given what we know about social media.”