[WATCH] Adrian Delia says he will not be intimidated by 'systematic attacks' against him

Opposition leader plays down reports over his Whatsapp conversations with Yorgen Fenech, stating information is being fed by individuals who are bothered by his work against government’s shady deals

Opposition leader Adrian Delia has played down reports over his relationship with alleged Daphne Caruana Galizia murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech, calling them systematic attacks from individuals within government and the Labor Party.

Speaking during an interview on the Nationalist Party’s radio station NET FM, Delia said such attacks trying to discredit him whenever he challenges a government decision have become a regular occurance.

“When I filed a case against the Attorney General, they said I was going to be investigated by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU), then they said it was the police who would be investigating me. Two years down the line and none of that has happened,” Delia said.

He was referring to a report by the Times of Malta which revealed a Whatsapp exchange between Yorgen Fenech and Adrian Delia, despite the former being identified as the owner of secret company 17 Black.  

In a message sent on 19 March 2019, Fenech assured Delia he was always behind him “no matter what”, with the businessman also asking the opposition leader if he was up for a casual meal. Delia went on to tell Fenech that he would be asking former PN communications head Pierre Portellli to organise it.

In another exchange on May 26, Fenech consoled Delia after the PN’s defeat in the European Parliament elections, reassuring the opposition leader that it wasn’t on him. Delia did not react to it.

Playing down the report, Delia said that systematic and personal attempts to stop him from fighting for justice will not dishearten him.

“They know that if we put our minds to something, we will emerge successful, and they don’t like that,” he said.

“If the PL thinks it can silence me, it is very wrong, and I will not be intimated,” he said.

PM should cancel Vitals deal

The opposition leader also called on the PM to scrap the vitals deal.

“In his election as PM Robert Abela said that he would be instructing a team of experts to break down the contract and examine it. Six months have passed and we are continuing to pay the price of a ridiculous deal,” he said.

Delia also referred to MaltaToday’s story, which revealed how Steward Healthcare boss Ralph de la Torre insisted on having a new contract which gives the US company more money to run the three state hospitals – up to €120 million annually, according to sources.

“So not only have we not taken any investment back, now they are demanding more money,” Delia stated.

“The opposition is doing its part, now its time for the PM to do his.”

On government’s announcement that it would be scrapping the passport for cash scheme, and replace it with a new residency programme, Delia said that such a decision was not taken out of good spirit, but was imposed by Moneyval.

“They didn’t do it because the opposition was right, they did it because Moneyval forced their hand. Now we will see if it is a real change, or just a cosmetic one,” he stated.

Adrian Delia to summon parliamentary group this week

In an official reaction to report published by the Times of Malta, Delia questioned the reasoning behind not publishing Yorgen Fenech’s Whatsapp discussions with other culprits behind the Caruana Galizia assassination.

“If Sunday Times of Malta has access to Fenech's mobile, then how about publishing thousands of exchanges that there must be between Fenech and the culprits in the numerous cases of corruption and the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia that they are implied in? Why is this the only 'exchange' published?” he said.

He also questioned from where the information is derived from.

“As leader of the second largest political party in Malta, I get thousands of messages a week from all types of people pledging their support, asking for meetings and giving ideas. That does not make me an acquaintance or friend of theirs,” the statement read.

The opposition leader also said the parliamentary group will be summoned later on this week, “to ensure the PN perseveres in its pursuit of truth and justice”.