Alex Salmond set to appear before Holyrood inquiry next Wednesday

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image captionEvidence submitted by Alex Salmond will be published next week

Alex Salmond is to appear before MSPs on Wednesday, the BBC understands.

Sources say that the former first minister has accepted an invitation to appear before a committee investigating how the Scottish government handled harassment complaints against him.

Evidence submitted by Mr Salmond is expected to be published early next week.

Mr Salmond had previously said he would not appear at the inquiry unless this was done, so that he could refer to it in his oral evidence.

The committee had previously refused to publish the document, citing legal concerns.

The submission accuses Mr Salmond's successor, Nicola Sturgeon, of misleading parliament and breaching the ministerial code.

Ms Sturgeon has repeatedly rejected accusations of wrongdoing.

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The Holyrood inquiry is examining what went wrong with the Scottish government's investigation of two internal harassment complaints against Mr Salmond.

The government conceded its process had been "unlawful" and paid the former SNP leader more than £500,000 in legal expenses after he launched a judicial review action in the courts.

Mr Salmond had initially been expected to appear before the inquiry on 9 February, but this was cancelled when the committee voted, along party lines, not to publish one of his written submissions.

A majority of MSPs argued there were legal reasons why the paper could not be published.

Mr Salmond has insisted he could not live up to an oath to "tell the whole truth" without being able to refer to the document.

image copyrightReuters
image captionNicola Sturgeon has repeatedly rejected accusations of wrongdoing

Last week, judge Lady Dorrian clarified a court order - dating back to Mr Salmond's criminal trial, in which he was acquitted of sexual assault charges - to ensure MSPs know what they can and cannot publish.

The committee met again on Wednesday and decided by five votes to four not to publish the submission, but also referred the matter to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body for a final decision.

It decided on Thursday that "on balance it is possible" to publish the submission.

The inquiry had already agreed to invite Mr Salmond to appear on 24 February, and the former first minister was said to have "cleared his diary".

Ms Sturgeon is expected to appear the following week, and has previously said she is "relishing" the prospect of putting her side across and rebutting "conspiracy theories".