Opposition leader Adrian Delia received over €100,000 from his in-laws to help pay his tax arrears, according to evidence filed in the Family Court.
Testifying last March during separation proceedings, Delia’s estranged wife Nickie Vella de Fremeaux said that her parents had paid the PN leader around €55,000 on 23rd March 2018 and €65,000 on 20th April 2018 to settle his tax bill, which she described as “phenomenal”.
She said the state of affairs hasn’t changed at all since that date.
These figures tally with those provided by Delia to The Malta Independent back on 27th May 2018, when he showed the newspaper two bank drafts for the sums of €55,042 and €64,000 dated 23rd March and 20th April 2018 respectively.
However, the PN leader said he had paid his taxes by selling his shares in three companies and by reneging on a promise of sale for the purchase of a property in Siġġiewi.
No mention whatsoever was made about his in-laws advancing him these payments.
The court testimony also shows that Delia’s in-laws paid a hotel bill amounting to around 11,000 Swiss francs (€10,255) that the PN leader had clocked up after a holiday to Switzerland.
Moreover, it shows he has a pending €19,000 water and electricity bill.
Delia refused to answer when asked by Lovin Malta whether the allegations are true and if he has repaid the money to his in-laws.
“This question is related to a private separation case and I am going to stick to the agreement we reached in court for there to be no public comments about this separation in the best interests of my children,” he said. “I will respect this till the end.”
However, he dismissed suggestions that he was bankrupt or that his financial situation has rendered him susceptible to bribery.
Delia argued that he was the first politician in Maltese history to declare a full audit of his assets and that the combined value of his assets and shares supersede his commitments to banks.
“No one has ever bribed me, no one will ever bribe me, and no one will ever scare me or stop me from fighting to destroy corruption,” he told Lovin Malta.
To back up his argument, Delia referred to his successful constitutional case against the Attorney General to publish the Egrant report, his campaign against the IIP sale-of-citizenship scheme, which is set to be replaced by a new residency scheme, and his ongoing €2 billion court case , which he opened as a private citizen, to nullify the Vitals hospital contract.
Delia’s pending tax bill was the source of controversy in 2018, when the Labour Party insinuated he had used money raised through a PN fundraiser to settle his dues, an allegation the PN leader strongly denied.
The PN leader is currently facing an unprecedented leadership crisis after both his parliamentary group and the party’s executive council declared they have no confidence in him.
However, he has dismissed calls to resign, arguing that the party’s paid-up members (tesserati) had in 2017 entrusted him to lead the PN into the upcoming general election.