Opposition leader Adrian Delia has played down concerns over his political future after a magisterial inquiry was opened into allegations that murder suspect Yorgen Fenech had paid the PN to prevent MEP David Casa’s re-election.
“The inquiry isn’t against me but is being held to establish whether the allegations are true or not,” Delia said, drawing parallels to police investigations into a robbery before a suspect is identified.
“If police identify a suspect, then an inquiry will be opened into that person, but this won’t happen against me because there’s nothing there.”
“No one has spoken to me about this inquiry and there’s nothing against me except the words of someone involved in criminality [Keith Schembri].”
“It’s clear that I’m bothering a lot of people because, in recent months, people have been losing power one by one and this will keep on going.”
Delia confirmed visiting Fenech at the murder suspect’s Ħaż-Żebbuġ ranch before Fenech was named as the owner of the secret company 17 Black, but said there was nothing untoward about this meeting.
“Before we found out that Yorgen Fenech was involved in all of this, he was a businessman like any other and it is my duty to meet up with as many people as possible. Yes, I met up with him, not one to one but in a group, as part of a series of meals with a number of businesspeople.”
“I wasn’t friends with him. There was a meal but that’s all. Once he started being named with regards to 17 Black, I obviously didn’t meet up with him or communicate with him at all.”
Last year, former PN radio host and current MP David Thake asked Delia during a Xarabank show whether he was informed that Fenech had offered the party €50,000 to prevent Casa’s re-election.
Delia denied having any information in this regard and told Thake to report an information he might have to the police.
This month, state witness and Caruana Galizia murder middleman Melvin Theuma told the court that Fenech had told him he had offered the PN a sum of money to put spokes in Casa’s re-election campaign because the MEP was hounding him over his ownership of the Dubai company 17 Black.
Hours later, Labour TV host Karl Stagno Navarra alleged that Fenech had offered the sum of money to Delia personally during a meeting at Fenech’s Ħaż-Żebbuġ ranch. He claimed Fenech paid Delia €50,000 and offered him a further €200,000 if Casa wasn’t elected.
The former Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri said under oath with “100% certainty” that Delia accepted a €50,000 payment, while former PN Head of Media Pierre Portelli would meet with Fenech once a month to collect €20,000.
However, Delia played down these allegations, arguing that Theuma was only repeating what Fenech told him and that Schembri’s word cannot be believed.
“Four people called Keith Schembri out for lying [after his testimony in the police’s case against Yorgen Fenech]. Are we meant to believe him? Why doesn’t he tell us what he did in Azerbaijan and Montenegro?”
“He testified in the police’s case on the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and he spoke of everything except the assassination.”