The treasurer of Italy’s Northern League party, Francesco Belsito, has resigned after magistrates began investigating him for fraud and illegal party funding.
Police raided the party’s headquarters in Milan and searched the apartments of several politicians throughout Italy.
Court documents allege Belsito provided the party with funds that were unaccounted for and made payments, some of which were accounted for ‘untruthfully’.
Former interior minister and one of the party’s main figures, Roberto Maroni had called for Belsito to stand down earlier in the day.
The case could drive a wedge through the Northern League – an important ally of Silvio Berlusconi when he was in power. It has already been split by a power struggle between Maroni and the leader Umberto Bossi. Prosecutors claim to have uncovered personal payments made to Bossi too.
The case is likely to curb the party’s frequent and vocal attacks on waste and corruption in the south of Italy.