The Scottish Government will not be publishing legal advice it receives on an independent Scotland's membership of the European Union (EU), the First Minister has said.
In an interview on STV's Scotland Tonight Alex Salmond also defended his government's refusal to say whether it sought earlier legal advice and rejected claims he misled the public.
It comes after the First Minister was branded "a bare-faced liar" after his deputy Nicola Sturgeon appeared to contradict his claim that ministers have consulted law officers on Scotland's uncertain future in Europe.
Mr Salmond refused Labour's request to come back to Parliament to clarify the matter further.
When asked if legal advice would be published when it was received, Mr Salmond said: "No. Well that (advice) will inform the White Paper on independence. That's the purpose of having the opinion, so that we can make sure that what we say about the process of independence is correct. If you take the UK government, which makes all sorts of pronouncements, they've said quite recently that they have a legal opinion on this question. Although, how on earth they can have a legal opinion before the agreement which describes the process, goodness only knows. They haven't published that."
The First Minister said he was acting under the Ministerial Code by not discussing legal advice.
"I would have to clear it with the Lord Advocate if I wanted to say I had not sought legal advice. The Scottish Government decided to stick to the convention, which every previous Scottish government had decided to stick to, until that point that came with the Edinburgh Agreement which actually settled the process of how Scotland could become independent. You go to court so that you can uphold the ministerial code because there are very important principles that are therein."
Labour MEP Catherine Stihler wrote to Mr Salmond asking him to investigate whether he had broken the ministerial code.
Ms Stihler's letter said: "Either the statement which your deputy minister gave is incorrect that no specific legal advice existed, or your answer to Andrew Neil is incorrect and your use of the ministerial code to not provide me with the information requested was an abuse of power. Can I ask where in the ministerial code does it allow ministers to defend a blank sheet of paper rather than answering a specific question yes or no? I call on your services to now formally investigate whether the ministerial code has been broken and whether a clear abuse of power and position has taken place."
Mr Salmond said: "I'll give the letter due consideration, and I'll reply in due course, politely and concisely. I've been reported five times - usually by Labour and the Tories - for breaking ministerial code. It's five-nil so far - I haven't broken it at all."