The PN’s former head of Media.Link Pierre Portelli has finally confirmed that he did collude with Yorgen Fenech to leak stories attacking internal party rivals.
“I was desperate, I wanted to fight fire with fire,” Portelli told a public inquiry linked to the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
At the time, Portelli was serving as the head of Media.Link and was the right-hand man of then-leader Adrian Delia. Fenech had not yet been charged in connection to the assassination but had already been outed as the owner of 17 Black, the Dubai-based company linked to alleged government corruption.
Portelli insisted that he never informed then-leader Adrian Delia. However, sources have told Lovin Malta that this is not the case.
He explained that he reached out to Fenech to help launch an attack against internal rivals after a “civil war” in the party. In court, Portelli brought out three files containing 130 articles which he said were leaked by PN members attacking the party.
Portelli confirmed that he leaked stories claiming that the party’s youth wing, MZPN, had been taken over by people close to David Casa and activist group Occupy Justice.
Lovin Malta has previously revealed a wealth of WhatsApp conversations between Portelli and Yorgen Fenech, the main suspect in the murder. Exchanges between Delia and Fenech have also been published.
Portelli and Fenech would communicate regularly on the encrypted messaging service, colluding on leaking stories against internal party rivals.
This included stories against David Casa, Chris Said, who competed against Adrian Delia for PN leadership, and Nickie Vella de Fremaux, Delia’s estranged ex-wife.
Porteli did not comment specifically on these stories. However, he did confirm that he shared many stories with Fenech. He said that he did not have contacts with the independent media or Labour Party media at the time given his position at Media.Link.
He also did not make reference to the reveal that he also asked Fenech to help solve Media.Link’s growing salary issues.
Portelli did confirm that Fenech would also pass on stories, including one involving James Piscopo.
At the time of the articles, Portelli was reluctant to comment on the veracity of the claims.
Portelli and Delia are also currently subject of a magisterial inquiry concerning claims that they accepted regular payments from Fenech, which some have suggested could have been a bribe.
Under court testimony, Keith Schembri claimed that Portelli would meet Fenech once a month to collect €20,000. Meanwhile, he also claimed that Delia took €50,000 from Fenech to ensure that PN MEP David Casa was not re-elected during the 2019 elections.
The pair have both vociferously denied the claim. Both denied the claims in court again.
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