Also under investigation are a number of employment contracts, with OLAF apparently having been brought into the equation.
Bossi himself has a previous conviction for fraud, as well as receiving a one year sentence for incitement to racial violence in 1998. He also sat as an MEP as a member of UKIP”s Independence & Democracy Group in the 2004-2009 European Parliament.
Racial violence and fraud – that seems to be the order of the day in Farage’s EFD group. But the biggest fraud of all is that perpetrated on UKIP’s member and supporters who believe that the MEPs are actually doing something to help get the UK out of the EU. Whilst Clark gets his knuckles rapped for – errrr – fraud, Bloom urinates in hotel lobbies and employs his family whilst pompously denying that he – errrr – employs his family, and Batten gives speeches to people convicted of – errrr – fraud, UKIP members and supporters just keep on handing the cash over.
Italian Northern League leader Umberto Bossi resigns
The Northern League is the only party in opposition to the current technocratic government led by Prime Minister Mario Monti.A former party treasurer is suspected of misusing funds.Mr Bossi, known as a fierce critic of corruption in public life, denies any wrongdoing himself.Northern League treasurer Francesco Belsito resigned on Tuesday after prosecutors alleged he had used party funds to pay for, among other things, the remodelling of Mr Bossi’s villa and holidays for the leader’s children.There was no immediate comment from the former treasurer on the accusations laid against him.News of Mr Bossi’s resignation emerged on Thursday, with no comment from the leader himself.
Fiery speechesThe scandal has been all the more embarrassing for him because he has always been bitterly contemptuous of the corruption that plagues so much of Italian public life, the BBC’s Alan Johnston reports from Rome.Mr Bossi has been one of the most colourful figures on the Italian political stage, coming to prominence on a separatist platform, our correspondent says.In fiery speeches he frequently criticised “the corrupt and lazy South” for draining hard-earned wealth away from the North.Mr Bossi once described the European Union as a nest of communist bankers and freemasons.Despite the rhetoric, the Northern League formed coalition governments with the right-wing parties supporting the governments of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.Following his resignation the party instantly gave him the honorary position of president.But Alan Johnston says the amount of influence Mr Bossi may wield in future will perhaps depend on how the current fraud inquiry plays out.
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