Magistrate probing claims involving Yorgen Fenech payments to Adrian Delia

A magisterial inquiry has kicked off on claims that Yorgen Fenech paid the Opposition leader to block David Casa’s election bid, which money allegedly never made it to the PN’s coffers

Opposition leader Adrian Delia
Opposition leader Adrian Delia

A magistrate is looking into claims that Yorgen Fenech paid Opposition leader Adrian Delia to block David Casa’s election bid, MaltaToday has learnt.

The inquiry was initiated after the police referred the matter to the duty magistrate on 18 June, a day after Daphne Caruana Galizia murder middleman Melvin Theuma testified in the public inquiry.

Sources close to the investigation said Magistrate Doreen Clarke is leading the inquiry, which is also probing claims that Fenech had passed on some €120,000 to Nationalist Party officials, which money allegedly never made it to the party’s coffers.

Theuma testified in the public inquiry that Fenech once told him that he had offered money to the PN so that it would obstruct David Casa’s candidacy in last year’s European Parliament election.

Theuma’s allegation was repeated last year by now PN MP David Thake, who had asked Delia during a Xarabank programme about claims that Fenech had offered €50,000 to obstruct Casa’s re-election.

At the time, Delia said he knew nothing of the claims and urged Thake to go to the police.

However, in court yesterday, Keith Schembri, former chief of staff to Joseph Muscat, claimed to have been told by Fenech that Delia had asked for €50,000 to stop Casa’s election bid. Schembri also claimed that former PN head of media Pierre Portelli used to go to Portomaso to collect €20,000 every time from Fenech.

Delia and Portelli have denied the allegations in sworn affidavits.

Thake was asked to give a statement at the police depot last Saturday after he distanced himself from a PN statement denying Theuma’s claims.

Thake had told MaltaToday that the party leadership had to shoulder responsibility for the denial.

MaltaToday had reported that in a stormy meeting of the PN parliamentary group on Sunday, Thake called on Delia to resign. The MP later described the report as “fake news”.

But PN sources have said the latest court revelations have cast serious doubts on Delia’s ability to continue leading the party.