[WATCH] Adrian Delia denies Yorgen Fenech donation and inquiry

'Nobody has ever in my life approached me with money with regard to people in the party. Not about David Casa, not about other MEPS or political issues. Nobody. If someone dared offer me money, I would go straight to the police as I have done in the past.'

Adrian Delia being interviewed by Kurt Sansone
Adrian Delia being interviewed by Kurt Sansone

Opposition leader Adrian Delia has denied being in contact with Yorgen Fenech after the emergence that the alleged mastermind in the Caruana Galizia assassination was the owner of 17 Black.

Asked twice by maltatoday.com.mt editor Kurt Sansone whether he had contact with Yorgen Fenech after the story broke, Delia denied the allegation.

Delia said he has not been informed that he was the subject of any police investigations or magisterial inquiries in with regards to allegations of receiving payments from Yorgen Fenech, despite the inquiry having been launched on the allegation.

The interview kicked off with a series of questions about allegations that Delia had been offered money to stop MEP David Casa from being elected. “Nobody has ever in my life approached me with money with regard to people in the party. Not about David Casa, not about other MEPS or political issues. Nobody. If someone dared offer me money, I would go straight to the police as I have done in the past.”

Queried about allegations of having met Fenech at the businessman’s ranch, Delia said that he had met him once in a converted farmhouse as part of a series of meals. “You must remember that before the issue of Fenech’s involvement in the murder was discovered, Yorgen Fenech was a businessman like the others. It was my function to meet employers and business people,” explained Delia.

“Let us not fall for a diversionary tactic by labour,” he said, questioning the timing of the issue being raised right after the Montenegro scandal burst onto the public stage.

“Did anyone bring out a single fact? The person who should have said it, Yorgen Fenech, has denied saying it. I said under oath, and I take oaths seriously, that I never was approached.”

Montenegro is not an allegation, Egrant is not an allegation, Vitals is not an allegation, they were all documented, he insisted.

Asked about party official Pierre Portelli, who was alleged to have been involved in the bribery attempt he said that as Leader of the party he did not handle any accounts. “I asked my officials who deal with party finances and they gave me a guarantee that no such €20,000s were deposited in the Party’s finances. Therefore, this is an invention.”

He resisted calls for his resignation, saying that Keith Schembri was using the judicial process to throw mud. “Keith Schembri was shown to be lying by four people. Why doesn’t he tell us what he was doing in Azerbaijan?”

“There are magisterial and police investigations underway. There are allegations in your regard. Don’t you think you should resign to clear your name?” asked Sansone.

“Let me be clear. To date, nobody told me I am under investigation and nobody told me there is an inquiry about me. Someone said something and we are investigating what was said. “How can I be a subject of an investigation if nobody spoke to me about anything? All there is, is something said by a criminal,” Delia protested.

The political responsibility law with Prime Minister Robert Abela, he said. “He was deceiving us about Montenegro when he knew about the issue since November.”

Delia moved on to other topics. “There is a decision by the Commissioner for Standards on the Facebook advertising spend by ministers. These ministers took money from the Maltese people for promotion. Do you want to take responsibility for this, Robert Abela?”

“Robert Abela is not taking any decisions. He didn’t fire the police commissioner, he let him resign and then employed him as a consultant. He was forced to, back against the wall…acting on the facts which were published. He knew beforehand and acted when he was caught.”

“Robert Abela doesn’t decide and his indecision is costing us,” Delia went on, warning that the PM’s strategy on the upcoming Moneyval test isn’t going to work. “All we did is enact laws but implemented nothing. This is a test. If you pass, you start to go back to normal. If you fail, you not only have to get back to normal…but you have to wear a t shirt with ‘failed’ emblazoned on it.”

“As a country we must unite, politicians, government, stakeholders, journalists and companies because the blow will be big. After COVID, the events of last December and fact that the economy was built on sand we are not strong enough to withstand it,” Delia warned.

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