AN Inverness man has been accused of collecting and dealing in the eggs of rare protected birds of prey at his home.
Keith Liddell (42) of Holm Dell Drive has denied allegations contrary to EC law and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, keeping, buying and selling the eggs from his home and possession of collections of more than 300 eggs, including Red Kite, Merlin, Black Kite, Snowy Owl, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian vulture and rough legged Buzzards, among other species.
Liddell made a brief appearance on Tuesday at Inverness Sheriff Court.
Fiscal Kate Fleming, from the Wildlife Environmental Crime Unit of Crown Office and Procurator Fiscals service, told Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood the case involves more than 190 productions and 40 witness have been cited by the prosecution.
Some of the witnesses she said would be travelling from south of the border to give their evidence.
Defence solicitor Pauline Chapman said there are no defence witnesses and Liddell was maintaining his plea of not guilty to the charges.
A further intermediate diet was fixed for October 9 and the trial, which is expected to last five days is scheduled to begin on October 22.