Investigation launched into Brothers of Italy party 'Neo-Fascist ties'

Carlo Fidanza

MILAN -Members of the Brothers of Italy party, Carlo Fidanza and Roberto Jonghi Lavarini, are being investigated for alleged ties with Neo-Fascist circles, after undercover journalists from Fanpage - an online newspaper based in Naples - spent three years researching the story and recording video evidence, investigative sources reveal.

 Lavarini, whom Fanpage are dubbing the ‘Black Baron’ in reference to the colour of the far-right, has had his home searched by the finance police due to allegations of under-the-table contributions from Neo-Fascist groups for the Milan election campaign. Similarly Fidanza, the head of the delegation of the Brothers of Italy to the European Parliament, may face charges of illegal financing and money laundering.

 The undercover journalists recorded 100 hours of footage, including a secretly recorded video of Fidanza and Lavarini who mention people known as “washing machines” for electoral contributions paid illegally by companies and entrepreneurs who do not want to appear. The Prosecutor's Office is working to determine the identities of these people.

 Giorgia Meloni, leader of Brothers of Italy, asked to see the 100 hours of footage, before taking action against her party members.

 President of the Five Star Movement, Giuseppe Conte, asked Meloni directly on Sunday, “why don't you cut, in a clear and decisive way, the ties of your party that emerged from the investigation?” Meloni claims the probe may be a plot to hurt the party in the local elections.

 Also indicated in the footage is Chiara Valcepina, newly elected to the Milan city council, and other local leaders who have allegedly received covert funding.

The media is due to hear from Fanpage journalists in the next few days.