(Edinburgh) The husband of former Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Peter Murrell, was arrested on Wednesday as part of an investigation into the finances of the independence party SNP, before being released without charge in the evening.

This affair is a new blow to the Scottish National Party, already weakened after a difficult campaign to succeed the charismatic leader, who recently left office to everyone’s surprise after eight years in power.

Without naming Peter Murrell, Police Scotland announced on Wednesday evening that the 58-year-old man they arrested that morning in the SNP finance inquiry had been “released without charge in awaiting further investigations”.

Saying they had carried out searches in several locations, the police added that they would forward their report to the Scottish prosecutor’s office, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Peter Murrell was until mid-March director general of the SNP and had resigned from his post, which he had held for 20 years, in the midst of a controversy over the number of members of the formation, during the internal campaign to appoint a new leader .

A large police force was deployed at the couple’s home in Glasgow, with a large tent set up in front of the house.

Ongoing investigations relate in particular to the use of donations of 600,000 pounds sterling (1,004,600 Canadian dollars) collected in recent years to organize a new independence referendum, a project currently at an impasse in the face of the rejection of London. The media are also raising questions about a loan he allegedly paid to the party.

In a statement, the party said it was “not appropriate to comment on an ongoing police investigation, but the SNP is cooperating fully with the investigation and will continue to do so.”

The formation specified that it had decided on Saturday to review its governance and its rules of transparency.

Like his wife, Peter Murrell has dedicated his life to the independence cause. He met Nicola Sturgeon at an SNP youth camp and they married in 2010.

Their relationship had sparked accusations of conflicts of interest at the head of the majority formation in the Scottish Parliament, more pressing during the succession campaign organized in March.

A spokesperson for Nicola Sturgeon said she had “no prior knowledge of the actions and intentions of the police” and would cooperate “fully” should the investigation require it, which is not for time not the case.

Nicola Sturgeon, after eight years at the helm of Scotland and a total of 15 years in senior positions in the local executive, announced her resignation in mid-February to everyone’s surprise, explaining that she lacked energy.

His last weeks in office had also been marked by violent attacks linked to the law passed by the Scottish Parliament facilitating gender transition, which London vetoed.

The departure of the charismatic leader, who carried the independence fight with determination, weakened the party, which emerged divided from the internal campaign which resulted in the appointment as prime minister of Humza Yousaf, 37, last week.

The leader, the first of the Muslim faith to head one of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom, is seen as embodying continuity after Ms Sturgeon, with a progressive line on societal issues and left economically. But he only won 52% of the vote against the more conservative Kate Forbes.

He told Sky News that it was a “difficult day for the SNP”.

This transition at the head of Scotland comes as the fight for independence, a time revived by Brexit and the unpopularity of successive Conservative governments in London, seems to have reached an impasse. The Supreme Court rejected Edinburgh’s desire to hold a new referendum without London’s agreement, after the vote that resulted in a 55% “no” victory in 2014.

Separatists see independence as a way to join the European Union. Over 60% of Scots voted against leaving the EU in 2016.