MSPs will ask Alex Salmond’s lawyers for access to legal documents in a significant move by Holyrood’s harassment inquiry.
Members of the specially convened committee decided in a closed-doors meeting on Tuesday to approach Levy & McRae, having previously claimed they were unable to obtain certain details from the Crown.
Legal restrictions meant some documents were not revealed to the committee, which has long complained about obstacles in the way of material for their inquiry.
The suggestion to use Holyrood’s powers to go directly to the lawyers was raised by Mr Salmond during a six-hour public hearing in parliament on February 26 – but it took until the latest private meeting to agree to the proposal.
MSPs just have to agree the wording and send their request under section 23 of the Scotland Act.
A source close to the committee said the new legal request will get to key “unseen government records”.
‘You will get full co-operation’
In his own submission last month, Mr Salmond urged members to serve the order on his lawyers.
“If you do so then I am sure you will get full co-operation under the law from my solicitors,” he said.
The committee has been looking at the way complaints about Mr Salmond were handled by the Scottish Government.
A judicial review earlier found the government process had been tainted with “bias” and had been “unlawful”.
It ended the relationship between Nicola Sturgeon and her former political mentor and is causing serious problems within the SNP ahead of the election in May.
The government complaint probe is entirely separate to the criminal trial that ended with the former first minister cleared of all charges.