(Bloomberg) -- Former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s husband was charged by police as part of an investigation into the Scottish National Party’s finances, a development that will put Scotland’s governing party under renewed scrutiny at a critical time ahead of a UK election expected this year.

Though Police Scotland did not identify Peter Murrell by name, they said in a statement that a 59-year-old man had been arrested on Thursday morning and was being questioned by detectives. A subsequent statement said the man had been charged in connection with the embezzlement of funds from the SNP. He’s no longer in custody, police said.

Murrell’s arrest last year plunged the party into turmoil, coming just weeks after Sturgeon had announced she was stepping down as leader. Sturgeon herself was later arrested, before also being released without charge.

Police have been looking into whether about £600,000 ($747,000) of donations for the SNP to campaign for Scottish independence may have instead been used for other purposes. Police Scotland, which is continuing with its investigation, will now send a report to the public prosecutor, it said late on Thursday.

Following last year’s arrests, police had stayed relatively quiet on the progress of the investigation. Though Thursday’s events will trigger a renewed flurry of interest in the probe, Police Scotland said it would not be commenting further.

The development comes at an awkward time for the SNP and Sturgeon’s successor, Humza Yousaf, who has been struggling to fend off the challenge from a resurgent Labour Party ahead of a UK-wide general election that must be held by the end of January 2025 at the latest.

Labour overtook the SNP in Scotland polling for the first time since the region’s independence referendum a decade ago, a YouGov survey found last week.

The BBC and Scottish newspapers including The National and The Herald all identified Murrell in their reports of his re-arrest. Police Scotland also said in its statement the man concerned was first arrested on April 5, 2023, the date Murrell was questioned and released without charge a year ago.

--With assistance from Simon Lee and Alastair Reed.

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