Azzopardi challenges Delia to resign over Yorgen Fenech’s Whatsapp chats

Jason Azzopardi throws down the gauntlet after PN leader Adrian Delia files judicial protest for defamation • Azzopardi challenges Delia to resign as MP if court evidence proves messages were exchanged

PN leader Adrian Delia has filed a judicial protest against Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi
PN leader Adrian Delia has filed a judicial protest against Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi

Updated at 6:36pm with Jason Azzopardi reaction

Adrian Delia is taking Jason Azzopardi to court over what he maintains are defamatory claims made by the PN MP concerning alleged communications with Yorgen Fenech.

In a judicial protest filed on Friday, the Nationalist Party leader says that he had been informed that Azzopardi was spreading, via SMS, “defamatory and false rumours” about him which claim that there are other messages between Fenech and him (Delia) which have not yet come to light.

One of the texts, referred to in the judicial protest - which Delia is maintaining was sent by Azzopardi to another party - reads: ‘Of course it is! And you have no idea of the hundreds of other messages in the mobile of Fenech in 2019 relating to the payment to Delia of €50,000 and pledge of €100,000 or more if Casa was not elected. You have NO idea what I’ve been holding up inside me since January. Know once and for all that the man is a pathological liar.’

The party concerned who received the text is willing to testify in court, the judicial protest says.

The protest notes that, had Azzopardi really had such information related to Fenech, he should have taken action before.

“What is the reason why he [Azzopardi] did not go to the police with this information in January, but is instead spreading false rumours now? The real reason is that Azzopardi is doing all he can to dirty Delia’s name,” the protest says.

Delia goes on to warn Azzopardi to stop spreading the defamatory claims, highlighting that this did no good for the PN MP nor for the party.

The judicial protest was filed hours before voting in a PN General Council, to determine the future of Delia’s leadership, is due to start.

Councillors will be voting to choose between Delia facing a confidence vote before the tesserati, or if a leadership race, also before the card-holding members, will take place.

Azzopardi challenges Delia to resign if evidence proves him wrong

In a Facebook reaction to the judicial protest, Azzopardi did not hold the punches, describing Delia as "Yorgen Fenech's friend".

Azzopardi insisted that Delia has never outright denied having communicated with Fenech whenever asked point blank.

The PN MP challenged Delia to resign from parliament if proof from Fenech's mobile phone emerges in court that communication did take place. "If no such proof emerges, I will be the one to resign," Azzopardi said.