Updated | Bernard Grech calls in Comodini Cachia and Adrian Delia after online spat

There is no love lost between Therese Comodini Cachia and Adrian Delia with the former calling ‘surreal’ and ‘in poor taste’ the former PN leader’s questioning of a journalist in court • Bernard Grech calls in the two MPs

Updated at 3:40pm with PN president comment

Adrian Delia’s court grilling of a journalist in his own libel case has ruffled feathers within the Nationalist Party with Therese Comodini Cachia describing it as “surreal”.

Comodini Cachia was referring to yesterday’s continuation of a libel case Delia filed against news portal Lovin Malta. The former Opposition leader sued the outlet over claims the he messaged Yorgen Fenech during a parliamentary debate about 17 Black.

The online spat forced Bernard Grech to call in his two MPs in yet another instance of internal conflict going public.

Delia defended his own case yesterday since his lawyer could not make the sitting and questioned Lovin Malta editor Julian Bonnici on the witness stand.

READ MORE: Adrian Delia takes Lovin Malta editor to task over Yorgen Fenech message allegations

But Delia’s grilling of a journalist found opposition from Comodini Cachia, who took to twitter to call out the former PN leader.

She wrote: “Do you find the questioning of a journalist by an MP in his own case as surreal and in utterly poor taste as I do? True he can but doesn’t anyone think this flies in the face of the press freedom MPs should be fighting for?!”

Grech calls in MPs

PN President Mark Anthony Sammut confirmed that Grech spoke with the two MPs separately when asked about the matter during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. However, Sammut did not elaborate.

"The case is closed," Sammut replied concisely, whilst denying the PN was dealing with internal squabbles.

Comodini Cachia was the mastermind behind the proposed laws for the protection of journalists that form part of the anti-mafia omnibus Bill put forward by the Opposition. The PN wants stronger constitutional protection for journalists and a law prohibiting SLAPP suits.

But there is no love lost between Comodini Cachia and Delia after the former had led a rebellion to oust him from Opposition leader in the summer of 2020.

Comodini Cachia marshalled a vote of no confidence within the parliamentary group but the attempt fell flat when President George Vella rejected the move to appoint a new Opposition leader while Delia was still PN leader.

Eventually, rebel MPs forced a fresh leadership contest that saw Bernard Grech unseat Delia as leader. Comodini Cachia had shown an interest to contest the leadership but was convinced to step aside to give Grech an unobstructed path to victory.