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IdV high-rankers leave Di Pietro amid corruption whispers

Donadi, Formisano also said to split over Five Star 'alliance'

08 November, 14:01
IdV high-rankers leave Di Pietro amid corruption whispers (ANSA) - Rome, November 8 - Two high-ranking members of the anti-graft Italy of Values (IdV) party left the party Thursday after falling out with embattled IdV leader Antonio Di Pietro. Former House whip Massimo Donadi and Senator Nello Formisano left the party amid corruption accusations against Di Pietro, which became national news after investigative program Report last week explored allegations into the possible misuse of party funds to build a large property portfolio.

"He has increasingly betrayed the identity of the IdV, one of radical reform, which this country needs," said Donadi, who stepped down as House whip on Monday.

Di Pietro, a former anti-corruption magistrate, founded his party after spearheading the famous Clean Hands investigations into political corruption in the early 1990s, which exposed the Bribesville system, shaking Italian politics to its core.

Claiming to be the victim of an organized smear campaign, Di Pietro faces suggestions of being no better than the crooks he set out to rein in while his party is showing signs of fraying.

He denies any wrongdoing. Donadi and Formisano, who said they would pursue "moderate, center-left" initiatives outside the party, have also split with Di Pietro on what has been perceived as a possible alliance with the anti-establishment Five Stars Movememnt (M5S) of comedian Beppe Grillo, who believes Italy should leave the eurozone, and last week said Di Pietro should succeed Giorgio Napolitano as the next president of Italy. On Thursday Grillo distanced himself, saying that an alliance with any political party would muddy the values of his movement, which "wants to replace the party system with direct democracy".