Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has removed Transport Undersecretary Armando Siri from his post at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.
The case has caused considerable tension within Conte’s coalition government.
Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has strenuously defended Siri, a member of his League party who denies any wrongdoing.
But the anti-graft 5-Star Movement (M5S) of fellow Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio has been pressing hard for Siri to go.
The undersecretary is under investigation over an alleged bribe to favour a Sicilian windfarm king linked to Cosa Nostra’s No.1 fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro.
He is also under pressure because of a plea bargain for fraudulent bankruptcy and a probe has been opened into his purchase of a property near Milan too.