Adrian Delia has flat out denied posing as the head of Dar tal-Providenza to a Tunisian business group which recently donated €500,000 to the Siġġiewi home via the former Opposition leader.
“It’s a laughable allegation. Why would I pretend to be the head of Dar tal-Providenza?” Delia told Lovin Malta. “As if Dar tal-Providenza need my good name when they have a better name than anyone else.”
“One can easily find out who’s in charge of Dar tal-Providenza. I’ve made some bold statements in my life, but come on…”
During Dar tal-Providenza New Year’s Day telethon, Delia stole the show by presenting two cheques – one worth €22,725 on behalf of his campaign team and one worth €500,000 on behalf of the Catco Group, a Tunisian business which is believed to be interested in investing in Malta and which has already sponsored leading football team Sliema Wanderers.
Times of Malta today quoted the Catco Group’s chairman Fisal Abdullah Alokla as saying he thought Delia was the head of Dar tal-Providenza and would never have involved him had he known about his political links.
The report said Catco sent the home a letter containing the pledge, but addressed to Delia, rather than Fr Martin Micallef, who runs the home.
However, Delia vehemently denied this.
“Why would I lie to do an act of charity? It’s a ridiculous and laughable allegation which could discourage other companies from doing charity themselves. Obviously transactions of that size require vetting but why are people speculating and inventing things before the source of funds has even been verified?”
“If they had donated to a political party, it would have been one thing, but they’re donating to a charity… they want to do something good.”
The former PN leader said he and his team had been raising money from people and businesses for Dar tal-Providenza for a while and was put in touch with the Catco Group after reaching out to Sliema Wanderers president Jeffrey Farrugia.
Delia said he never met anyone from the Tunisian business in person but communicated with them via email.
“Of course I was excited when I found out they were willing to not only donate €500,000, but also to ensure that this won’t be a one-off donation and that they’ll help them out for the long-term. I have this from them in writing and sent it to [Dar tal-Providenza head] Fr Martin Micallef.”
“It’s a good thing that companies help charities, and hopefully more will too. The Church [which runs Dar tal-Providenza] is now carrying out a vetting exercise as required by law, and hopefully things go well so we can encourage more businesses to do what they did.”