THE Scottish Government has admitted its investigation into sexual harassment claims against Alex Salmond was “flawed”.

The investigation has been “set aside” - but the Government’s top civil servant said it could be re-opened.

The case was heard today at the Court of Session with lawyers for Mr Salmond arguing the case was flawed because the investigating officer had prior contact with the complainers which was said to amount to “encouragement”.

At a hearing in the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Judge Lord Pentland said the decisions were "unlawful in respect that they were procedurally unfair and that they were tainted with apparent bias".

Lesley Evans, Scottish Government Permanent Secretary, said the case has been “settled”.

She said: “This action is being taken because it has become clear that, in one respect only (albeit an important one), the investigation was procedurally flawed.”

It is not the nature of the allegations that have been decided on, but the procedure put in place by the Government to investigate the complaints made against the former First Minister.

Ms Evans said the complaints could be looked at again.

She added: “It is also important to note that the procedural flaw in the investigation does not have implications, one way or the other, for the substance of the complaints or the credibility of the complainers.

“The Judicial Review was never about the substance of the complaints, but about the process that took place to investigate those complaints.

“It is accordingly open to the Scottish Government to re-investigate the complaints and, subject to the views of the complainants, it would be our intention to consider this. However, this will only be once ongoing police inquiries have concluded.”