MILAN, March 13 Italy's top financial newspaper
Il Sole 24 Ore said on Monday it had put its editor
Roberto Napoletano on unpaid leave of absence after it emerged
last week he was being investigated for allegedly issuing false
The decision followed a request by Napoletano himself to be
put on leave, the newspaper said in a statement.
The editor's powers have been given to Guido Gentili on an
interim basis, it said.
A search warrant seen by Reuters on Friday said prosecutors
were investigating whether the newspaper's digital sales data
had been artificially inflated.
In early October, journalists took a no-confidence vote
against Napoletano after the group said its first-half loss had
widened to 50 million euros ($53 million).
Il Sole 24 Ore, controlled by Italian employers association
Confindustria, said its board on Monday had mandated its chief
executive to take all measures necessary to protect its
reputation and interests.
A source close to the matter said Napoletano's unpaid leave
of absence would last six months.
($1 = 0.9383 euros)
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; additional reporting by Luca
Trogni; editing by Agnieszka Flak)