Scotland leader defends predecessor case handling

Leader of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has been defending her handling of the sexual harassment case involving her predecessor Alex Salmond, which has been threatening to derail her dream to lead Scotland to independence from the United Kingdom.

Sturgeon testified on Wednesday (March 3) and described the feud with Salmond as "one of the most invidious political and personal situations" she has ever faced.

She denied his accusations that she had plotted against him and misled the Scottish parliament.

"I have never claimed in this or anything else to be infallible. I have searched my soul on all of this many, many times over. It may very well be that I didn't get everything right, that's for others to judge, but in one of the most invidious political and personal situations I have ever faced, I believe I acted properly and appropriately, and overall, I made the best judgments I could."

In his own explosive testimony last week, Salmond accused Sturgeon of taking part in a malicious plot to drive him out of public life, and of breaking the ministerial code.

He stood trial on charges of sexual assault and was acquitted last year.

The feud between the pair, once close friends and powerful allies in the cause of Scottish independence, could deprive Sturgeon of the emphatic win she needs in May's Scottish elections to overcome resistance by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who opposes a referendum.