Lothar de Maiziere, who a year ago led East Germany to democracy and unity with the west, has resigned from the reunited nation's first government following accusations that he was once a police informant.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said there were "indications" de Maiziere and a man code-named in files of East Germany's Stasi secret police as "Czerny" were one and the same.He said there was no proof, however, that de Maiziere knowingly worked for the secret police of the former communist nation.

De Maiziere has denied the charges, but resigned from Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government as minister-without-portfolio and said he would not be a member of Kohl's new Cabinet.

He kept his seat in the new Germany Parliament but resigned his leadership positions in the Christian Democratic party.