Adrian Delia stripped bare: Vella de Fremeaux in-laws paid MP’s €120,000 tax bill

Nickie Vella de Fremeaux says parents paid for house, garden works, Christmas ski holiday, tax bills, and home-helps. Now they want their money back

The calm before the storm: 2017, Adrian Delia is elected, and addresses his first mass meeting with his now former spouse
The calm before the storm: 2017, Adrian Delia is elected, and addresses his first mass meeting with his now former spouse

The former in-laws of Nationalist MP Adrian Delia have called on the former Opposition leader to repay them a debt of €287,170 in various loans they gave him, over the course of his marriage to their daughter Nickie Vella de Fremeaux.

The judicial writ was filed against both Delia and their daughter, being both parties to the same community of acquests, and listed a litany of loans dating from March 2009 up to July 2018.

Delia was elected PN leader in September 2017, but lost a leadership challenge in 2020 to Bernard Grech.

In a subsequent reply, Nickie Vella de Fremeaux not only confirmed the debts that she and her former spouse have to repay her parents, but even expressed doubts on how Delia actually spent some of the cash.

Over the course of the years, the De Fremeauxs – who own publishing and printing giant Miller Distributors – said they had loaned the couple a total of €475,170, of which €188,000 was paid back.

In her own writ, Nickie Vella de Fremeaux, who separated from Delia in December 2018, claimed Delia was given €120,000 from her parents in April 2018 to settle a tax bill, despite having declared revenues of €137,000 in 2014, €96,000 in 2015, and €118,000 in 2016 right before he became PN leader.

In her tell-all protest, Vella de Fremeaux claimed that payments incurred from a €135,000 loan in 2009 for works on their Siggiewi home’s garden, and a €175,000 loan in May 2012 for a Siggiewi house “could not be confirmed whether these were spent on works because it was [Delia] who took care of the payments”.

She claimed Delia deposited the €175,000 in his law firm Aequitas Legal’s account, and not for the purchase of the house. She said Delia acquired the Siggiewi house for €104,821, through a Banif loan of €118,800 from Banif Bank.

She also accused Delia of acquiring the house and loaning the money through a power of attorney, without informing her. “So the [€175,000] sum loaned to my husband was used for other things and not for the acquisition of the house in question… so much so that on 25 September 2012, when the contract of acquisition for the house was signed, the account balance was €38,097 in the red.”

Vella de Fremeaux said her parents loaned them €27,000 in 2014 “when my husband told me we did not have money to pay some bills… he thanked me for opening up with my parents and promised me he would pay the money back in a few months.”

The couple, parents of five children, also loaned €6,930 to pay two home-helps after – Vella De Fremeaux – Delia could not pay them.

She said a Christmas 2017 skiing holiday in Switzerland for their family, was also paid by her parents: €9,908, ostensibly because Delia said he had encountered a money transfer problem. “Not only, but the father of one of the children accompanying us on holiday, had paid his way by giving the money to my husband, so he actually kept the money for himself.”

Vella de Fremeaux filed official separation proceedings against her husband, in 2018, saying the marriage has broken down irretrievably. In October 2018, Delia had acknowledged that the relationship with his wife had been experiencing a “difficult period”.