Delia business partner accuses PN leader of ‘spin’ over Barclays account

Long-time friend hits out at PN leader for employing diversionary tactic when faced with press reports on FIAU investigation

Kris Bajada has accused PN leader Adrian Delia of spin and of unfairly accusing him in a bid to divert attention
Kris Bajada has accused PN leader Adrian Delia of spin and of unfairly accusing him in a bid to divert attention

The close friend and former business partner of Opposition leader Adrian Delia has hit out at the embattled politician, claiming he has been unfairly accused by Delia in a bid to divert attention from his own problems with the FIAU.

Adrian Delia had claimed his signature on a resolution for the company Frankef, whose other owner is Kris Bajada – whom he has known and worked with since their university days – could have been falsified.

The claim was made just as he was being questioned about an investigation by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit on monies deposited in a Barclays International account in Jersey, which he opened to receive the rents on London properties owned by Bajada’s father Eucharist.

Adrian Delia
Adrian Delia

“There is absolutely no doubt that Adrian was the one who opened that Barclays account and managed it,” Kris Bajada told MaltaToday, just weeks after having spent two months in a coma at Mater Dei’s intensive therapy unit.

“Adrian must have thought that I would take some secret to the grave with me… if he denied having set up that bank account, it is a lie. What he said about the falsified signature was a diversionary tactic to deviate the public’s attention from the true facts, perhaps because he wanted to save face with elections around the corner,” Bajada said.

READ MORE London Brothels and the Bajadas: The Property Deal That Tarnished Adrian Delia

Bajada has known Delia since their university days, and was a defender of the aspiring PN leader in 2017 when both Daphne Caruana Galizia and MaltaToday published stories on the Bajada family’s London properties, and Adrian Delia’s role as director of the offshore companies that owned the properties.

The same properties had been implicated in a London Met Police bust into a prostitution racket. Since then, an FIAU investigation into Delia’s account in Jersey has re-portedly found that close to €500,000 was deposited in the account.

READ MORE: Operation Pabail 2003: Malta-linked properties at the heart of Soho prostitution racket

But Bajada has taken umbrage at Delia’s accusation that implicated him in the al-leged falsification of his signature in a company memorandum from 2004. Delia held just 10 out of 24,000 shares in Frankef, which is owned by Kris Bajada.

“Delia’s claim prompted a police search into the house where my estranged wife lives – and the reasons are obvious, because she is Simon Busuttil’s sister, which means he wanted to divert the heat onto his ‘adversary’, so to speak.

“But my wife has never had anything to do with my business dealings. And Delia himself had no real ownership of Frankef. Why would he make this allegation now, after so many years?” Bajada said.

Bajada even said that he had obliged in helping Adrian Delia out when his name cropped up in the stories published during the PN leadership contest in 2017, by providing him with all the documents he requested to clear his name.

“His people came to my house to collect the documents,” Bajada said.

But Bajada said he had been irked that Delia had “sent police to my ex-wife’s house knowing full well that any documents on our business were at my house – probably to get back at Simon [Busuttil].

“When Delia gave his statement to the police, I was already in the ITU – there was no hope I would make it, so I assume he thought I would take certain facts to the grave. Unfortunately for him, I am back with the truth.”

Police officers showed Diana Busuttil a warrant to search her property, which is next door to her husband’s. Despite carrying out an extensive search of Diana Busuttil’s documents, police left without a single piece of evidence in hand. Police are yet to search the house of Kris Bajada, who was then not in a position to assist police in their investigations because he was in hospital.

Bajada has also explained to MaltaToday how Delia, with whom he opened various businesses dealing with property and oil drilling, came to run his father Eucharist’s offshore companies that owned London properties that were later implicated in a Soho prostitution ring

“My family has never had any part in that world,” Bajada said of the prostitution ring that found a foothold in the London properties his father owned.

“My father was in property and he saw a deal to be made when he saw that property. And he made it work for him, because by vesting ownership of those properties in offshore companies, when the rent is paid into an offshore bank account, the owner is not liable for tax – everything was legal and above-board. And Adrian Delia knew it, because he saw the property and he set up the Barclays account to receive payments on the rent.”

When Operation Pabail busted the prostitution ring in 2003, Kris Bajada said his father risked losing those properties.

The properties were, in fact, managed by Eucharist Bajada’s brother Emanuel, but Kris Bajada reveals that name-lenders were used as official ‘tenants’ while Emanuel acted as a ‘manager’ to collect the rent from the people living in the property.

Bajada says that in a bid to force out Emanuel from the properties, his father started a “legal power game” to force the rescission of the tenancy agreement. That also included Adrian Delia, who held the bank account that collected the rents, and who appointed the London lawyers to represent the property owners, namely Healey Properties and AAC Freight Services.

Delia was probably also appointed, at one point, as the director of the offshore companies that served as shareholders in Healey Properties.