Alex Salmond has claimed there was a “malicious and concerted” attempt to remove him from public life, in a submission to a Scottish parliament inquiry.
The former first minister also alleges that people involved in efforts to damage his reputation include the husband and chief of staff of his former ally and successor, Nicola Sturgeon.
He said: “The inescapable conclusion is of a malicious and concerted attempt to damage my reputation and remove me from public life in Scotland.
“It is an attempt which would, in fact, have succeeded but for the protection of the court and jury system and in particular the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary.
“However, underlying all of this and perhaps the most serious issue of all is the complete breakdown of the necessary barriers which should exist between government, political party and indeed the prosecution authorities in any country which abides by the rule of law.”
He did not use the phrase conspiracy himself, saying: “I leave to others the question of what is, or is not, a conspiracy but am very clear in my position that the evidence supports a deliberate, prolonged, malicious and concerted effort amongst a range of individuals within the Scottish government and the SNP to damage my reputation, even to the extent of having me imprisoned.
“That includes, for the avoidance of doubt, Peter Murrell [chief executive], Ian McCann [compliance officer] and Sue Ruddick [chief operating officer] of the SNP together with Liz Lloyd, the first minister’s chief of staff.
“There are others who, for legal reasons, I am not allowed to name.”
Mr Murrell is Ms Sturgeon’s husband.
Mr Salmond also claimed that the cost to the Scottish people runs into “many millions of pounds and yet no-one in this entire process has uttered the simple words which are necessary on occasions to renew and refresh democratic institutions – ‘I Resign’.
“The committee now has the opportunity to address that position.”
His spokesperson confirmed that now that his submission has been published, Mr Salmond will give evidence to the committee on Wednesday.
Ms Sturgeon has said there is “not a shred of evidence” her predecessor as first minister can prove a conspiracy against him.
The Holyrood committee is investigating the Scottish government’s handling of harassment allegations against Mr Salmond, which saw him awarded a £512,000 payout.
Ms Sturgeon said Ms Salmond had not produced “a shred of evidence”.
She added: “Now, in front of the parliament, the burden of proof is on Alex Salmond. It is time for insinuation and assertion to be replaced with actual evidence.
“And if, as I fully expect, there is no evidence, because there was no conspiracy, then people will draw their own conclusions.”