Delia to take action on Pierre Portelli ‘only if he is investigated’ on Egrant

The Nationalist Party media chief was questioned by police on Tuesday, however Delia has said that so far it appeared that Portelli was providing information

Pierre Portelli was questioned by the police on Tuesday
Pierre Portelli was questioned by the police on Tuesday

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia will decide whether to take action against Media.Link chairman Pierre Portelli if he is put under police investigation.

Sources who spoke to MaltaToday said that Portelli was called in for questioning by the police on Tuesday.

Before last year’s election, Portelli, who was then the Malta Independent’s content director, testified before the inquiring magistrate and handed over a copy of what were believed to the declarations of trust of the company Egrant. The documents, the only ones that were handed over the magistrate, were found to be forged.

Asked whether he would be taking action against his right-hand man, Delia insisted with MaltaToday it did not appear that Portelli was being investigated at this stage.

“So far, from what has been made public, I have not understood whether there is the intention to proceed against Pierre Portelli,” Delia said.

He stressed that police can call an individual in for two reasons: as a witness or person who can provide information, or as a suspect.

“I haven’t gotten the impression that he will be investigated but if that is the case I would immediately have to make my considerations,” he said.

“The impression I have is that he has been called in to give information upon the recommendation of the inquiry’s conclusions.”

Pressed on what his decision would be if it turned out that Portelli was in fact being investigated, Delia said, if this were the case, he would take a decision on the spot.

“As I told you, I don’t like to speculate, but if were to happen, you can call me 15 minutes later and I’ll tell you exactly what I’ll be doing.”

No reason to doubt inquiry’s conclusions

Asked about calls by some Nationalist MPs for the Attorney General to send the inquiry back, Delia said that he had no reason to doubt the inquiry or the magistrate.

“Till today, there is nothing leading me to doubt it,” he said. “I am the type of person that does not try to use any excuse to justify my being stubborn and pressing ahead in a direction I don’t think is right. I base my judgment and therefore my political discernment on facts.”

He said that the magistrate was one that everyone had faith, and one whose integrity has not been doubted.

“There is nothing indicating the magistrate did not do his work properly, or that he didn’t engage the experts he needed to,” he continued.

While he said he had no reason to doubt the inquiry, Delia did reiterate that the inquiry needed to be made public.

“Politically, we need to know the truth, not only the part that interested the Prime Minister, but we need to know everything in the report,” said Delia.

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