No. 51 Friday, August 23, 2019

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Former MP Natalie McGarry freed ahead of appeal

12 June 2019
Former MP Natalie McGarry freed ahead of appeal

<top>Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry has been freed from prison ahead of a potential appeal against her conviction for embezzling money from pro-independence groups. McGarry was jailed for 18 months after admitting embezzling more than £25,600, which included charity donations. Judges have yet to decide whether the 37-year-old has legal grounds to appeal against the conviction or sentence. But the appeal courts granted her bail until that decision is made. The decision to grant bail was taken by Judge Lord Turnbull after representations from McGarry's lawyers at a private hearing at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh, which McGarry did not attend. It is understood that judges will decide on whether McGarry can proceed with her appeal in the near future. Her legal team are set to claim that the former MP for Glasgow East is the victim of a miscarriage of justice after receiving "defective" legal representation during the original court proceedings. 'Lifestyle costs' McGarry, who was the MP for Glasgow East between 2015 and 2017, pled guilty to two charges of embezzlement during a hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court last month. This included taking £21,000 from Women for Independence, when she was treasurer of the organisation, and the SNP's Glasgow Regional Association. Her spending included rent, a holiday to Spain, transfers of money to her husband and other lifestyle costs. Her attempt to withdraw the guilty pleas at a later hearing was refused by Sheriff Paul Crozier. Natalie McGarry Image caption McGarry was elected as the MP for Glasgow East in 2015, but did not stand in the snap general election two years later

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