The Malta Independent 22 May 2019, Wednesday

PM is not waiting for the outcome of 17 Black inquiry, he is trying to stall it – Delia

Sunday, 18 November 2018, 12:27 Last update: about 7 months ago

It was not true that the Prime Minister was waiting for the outcome of a magisterial inquiry on 17 Black because the PM was "trying his best and using taxpayer money" to stop that inquiry from starting, PN Leader Adrian Delia said on Sunday morning.

Speaking in Sliema, Delia said the PM had linked himself to the Dubai company by saying that he would resign if any link was found. Using that same yardstick, Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi should have resigned years ago, he said.


Delia referred to a newspaper story claiming that a criminal investigation had been launched into the 17 Black, which was listed as a target client for Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi’s Panama companies.  

He asked why no one knew about this investigation – why the Police Commissioner had not called a press conference to announce it. “I will tell the Police Commissioner this: I am here at the Sliema PN club and will be here for some time after this speech. If you want to investigate me you know where to find me. I will be here because I have nothing to hide, I am not corrupt and do not have any secret companies. I have nothing to fear.”

Delia said it was easy and cheap to open companies and accounts in Malta, yet Schembri and Mizzi had gone to the other side of the world to open theirs. “They declared they would be receiving €150,000 a month from 17 Black. This is a fact, not an allegation or spin.”

Now it has emerged that 17 Black is owned by a member of the power station consortium. “Before the election, the Labour Party only wanted to talk about the power station. They said it would reduce energy bills. But the truth is that 80% of consumers are being robbed on their energy bills. They wanted to build a new power station to rob people and carry out systematic corruption.”

The PN will give back every cent stolen from the people, Delia pledged.  

Turning to other issues, Delia said prices in the rental market had increased by 300% since 2005 whereas the minimum wage increased by 35%. This is a result of a lack of planning by the government, he said.

He referred to his appearance on Xarabank on Friday evening, saying that the government had used a number of youths to carry its message that the PN was harming the country abroad. “If a burglar comes into your home who is in the wrong - the burglar, or you for reporting him to the police?”

Delia said he was glad that Pilatus Bank had finally been closed down but said he was not sorry for those who held accounts there “because they were all dirty.”

He blasted the government over the situation the financial services sector currently finds itself in, referring to the ongoing saga at Satabank, and how its clients were being affected.

He said the government was boasting about blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, but these sectors were being endangered by what was going on in the banking sector.

Delia said that the PN would, in an upcoming General Council, show that it cared for everyone.

“The PM does not listen to anyone; not to his colleagues, not to the media and not to the public. We will show that we care about everyone, including the 72,000 who are at risk of poverty, those living in garages and those whose businesses failed. The PN will rise up and show people what the price of corruption is. Under a PN government, we will ensure that every single Maltese citizen has a roof on their head.”


David Casa

Speaking before Delia, MEP David Casa said he was being subjected to a hate campaign because of his anti-corruption work. He said the attacks against him intensified in the days before new information about 17 Black came out.

“They are doing it so that we waste time defending ourselves instead of fighting corruption. I will not stop. I will use every ounce of strength to fight corruption, to stop those who are stealing from you.”

Casa thanked Adrian Delia for the big support he has given him and said the fight against crime had united the PN.


PL reaction

Reacting, the Labour Party said Delia was again confirming that he would not call for an inquiry into the allegations made against him by Daphne Caruana Galizia. Instead, he told the Police Commissioner that he could go and speak to him at the PN club in Sliema.

With the same reasoning, the PM should not have called for an inquiry into the Egrant allegations or called an early election.

If Delia wanted to be credible, he should call for an inquiry, the PL said.

Because he was refusing to do this, Delia lost all authority over his MPs and MEPs, including David Casa, who was facing serious allegations of misuse of EU funds. Casa is not being investigated and today said he had his leader’s full support, the PL said. 

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