Delia was accused by MPs of meeting Robert Abela over ‘Yorgen Fenech’ attacks

MPs accused Adrian Delia of meeting Labour PM to discuss MPs’ attacks over contacts with Yorgen Fenech

PN leader Adrian Delia
PN leader Adrian Delia

The embattled leader of the Nationalist Party was accused by MPs of having met Prime Minister Robert Abela, during a stormy meeting in which Adrian Delia lost a confidence vote.

Chris Said, his former leadership rival, denied to MaltaToday having been the MP to broach the allegation to Delia, contradicting the original report by this newspaper.

Delia lost a confidence vote on Tuesday night when 19 MPs from his parliamentary group called on him to resign, over contacts he entertained from Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech after November 2018, when it was conclusively known that Fenech’s secret Dubai company 17 Black was connected to the Panama companies opened by Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi. 

The MPs accused Delia of having met Robert Abela on Thursday last week, in which he alleged to have requested Labour to ‘go slow’ on accusations of his deputy leader Robert Arrigo’s prior business connections to the Tumas group. 

They also claimed that Delia had said he would in turn go slow on accusations that Yorgen Fenech had a romantic liaison with a member of the present Labour Cabinet. 

Two MPs who spoke to MaltaToday about the accusation said Delia “fumbled a reply”, but did not address the accusation. 

The allegation that a Labour MP, now junior minister, had sexual relations with Yorgen Fenech – the alleged mastermind in the Caruana Galizia assassination – last week opened a new front of accusations of MPs who enjoyed the largesse of the wealthy Fenech magnates. 

The original allegation was made by Paul Caruana Galizia, and which was since denied by two former parliamentary secretaries, Julia Farrugia-Portelli and Silvio Schembri. Equality parliamentary secretary Roseanne Cutajar has declined to comment on the allegation. 

Robert Abela rejected calls to demote ministers who may have had a friendship or relationship with Fenech before being accused with murder in November 2019. 

Labour MP Glenn Bedingfield also fired a salvo against unnamed Nationalist MPs he accused of having had professional and friendly relationships with Yorgen Fenech. “The PN should tell us who these people are… they should be sincere for once, not hypocrites. They should be honourable members who admit they have eaten from the hand of Yorgen Fenech, even as they accused MPs of this side of their relationships with Fenech.” 

Bedingfield claimed various Nationalist MPs have had some form of business relationship or other form of contact with Fenech. Without naming names, he accused Opposition members of having been in contact with the multi-millionaire, soliciting favours for overnight stays at the Tumas Group’s Hilton Hotel, access to the hotel’s pool, free dinners, or for the organisation of all-expenses-paid birthday parties. 

The Labour Whip also referred to one MP – since identified as deputy leader Robert Arrigo – of being in a formal business relationship with the Tumas Group. “Why are such relationships unacceptable for one side of the House only?” Bedingfield charged in parliament. 

Robert Arrigo has since said the business concern Bedingfield referred to was the operation of the Topaz Hotel. Arrigo said he acquired a lease for beds at the Topaz from the late George Fenech in 2013, father of Yorgen Fenech. Arrigo has declared never having had dealings with Yorgen Fenech. Nominally, the ownership of the mentioned company – Hummingbird Properties – is held by MHLG Limited and corporate services provider Tri-Mer, with MHLG’s ownership again being vested in Tri-Mer.