Pierre Portelli has resigned from the Nationalist Party’s executive.
Times of Malta reported that Portelli quit after a meeting with party leader Bernard Grech and sent a letter to PN executive president Alex Perici Calascione announcing his resignation.
“I’m asking you to accept my resignation so that no one will use me to cause damage to the PN in light of recent stories that relate to the time when I was the executive chairman of Media.Link,” the letter reads.
“I reserve the right to reply to these stories when I feel it is the right time, however, I don’t want people who harbour ill intent to use such stories to damage the party.”
Portelli previously served as the head of Media.Link, the PN’s media wing, and was the right-hand man of then-leader Adrian Delia.
Lovin Malta revealed that Portelli reached out to Yorgen Fenech, the prime suspect of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, to ensure an article claiming that the PN’s youth wing had been taken over by anti-corruption groups like Occupy Justice, was published in Labour Party-leaning media.
This newsroom previously disclosed that Portelli and Fenech would communicate regularly on the encrypted messaging service, colluding on leaking stories against internal party rivals. The pair even discussed Casa’s MEP reelection bid at length.
This included stories against Chris Said, who competed against Adrian Delia for PN leadership, and Nickie Vella De Fremaux, Delia’s estranged ex-wife.
Meanwhile, this newsroom also exposed closer links to Portelli and Fenech, with the former asking Fenech to help resolve growing salary issues within the PN in March 2019.
Portelli has refused to comment on the issue.
Former PN leader Adrian Delia and Portelli are currently subject to 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 denied the claims.
What do you make of his resignation?