The Malta Independent 17 December 2018, Monday

‘I never did anything illegal’, defiant Delia says on reported Soho probe

Sunday, 2 December 2018, 12:41 Last update: about 14 days ago

Adrian Delia was defiant on Sunday morning when speaking about reports that a money laundering probe was examining his links to a London-based prostitution racket, saying that he “never did anything illegal” and saying that he was ready to show all his books and affairs to Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar.

“I was not in politics [at the time of this allegation] and I acted only as a lawyer.  I never broke the law or did anything illegal or laundered money”, Delia said at a political activity in Gudja.

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The comments come in the wake of a Sunday Times of Malta report which cited police sources in saying that an intelligence report compiled by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) was handed to the police in March and which recommended a criminal investigation into the possible laundering of funds for the Maltese owners, one of whom Delia was the lawyer of, of two Soho brothels.

Delia also commented on the timing of this story; the Sunday Times of Malta on its front page also reported that both Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri fall “within the scope” of the investigations into 17 Black.  The opposition leader said that the government had its back to the wall and was trying to create a diversion to offload the scrutiny it is under due to the recent 17 Black revelations and the damning report on the awarding of the contracts for the new gas-fired power station in Delimara published by the National Audit Office (NAO).

The creation of this diversion is identical to the tactics used by the government 32 years ago, when it created a diversion and carried out a frame up to pin the murder of Raymond Caruana onto PN activist Pietru Pawl Busuttil.  Next Wednesday, 5 December, is the 32nd anniversary of when Caruana was gunned down with a machine gun in a drive-by shooting on the newly opened PN club in Gudja. Back then, the government had done everything to “twist and distort the truth” so to give “a different picture” and today “it is doing exactly the same thing”, Delia said. 

The death of Raymond Caruana occurred with the backdrop of a context.  The PN back then was fighting for democracy, and when they were oppressed they went to court to attain the right to express themselves in Zejtun.  The court back then gave the PN the right to speak, and together we started a walk at Tal-Barrani to have our voices heard.  For the PL the government was always a tool of power whilst the PN it was a tool of service.  Back then, the PL decided to use its power to try and oppress the people from speaking.  We all know what happened some days before the killing of Raymond Caruana – the government tried to hold back thousands of us.  However, when there is oppression – the people are more inclined to stand up and make themselves counted.  Some days later, the PL used the arms that it can use – fear, intolerance, silence by death – that’s what the PL does.

Delia continued by making reference to the recently published NAO report, which he calls “a 593 page condemnation” of Konrad Mizzi and which gave every reason for Mizzi to step aside immediately.  He described how the government had handled the report  as “surreal” and proof that “we are truly not living in a normal country”.  He said that Keith Schembri had the Prime Minister’s hands tied up, and said that it was Schembri who was truly in control at Castille.

In expressing satisfaction at the NAO report, “The government is guaranteeing that, if from this contract it is stealing €200 million from the people every two years, then it will continue to steal millions from the people on other contracts in the future”, Delia exclaimed.

The choice of the PN’s Gudja club as the venue for Sunday’s customary political event was no coincidence, with Raymond Caruana being commemorated by each of the morning’s speakers. 

Delia himself, in fact, drew parallels with the situation in 1986 and the situation today; noting that whilst the Labour government had closed schools, today it was undermining teachers so to gain control of the education system; whilst back then the Times building had been set on fire, today the government was buying, silencing and trying to make the media its own. 

“We don’t know who killed Raymond Caruana; but we know why he was killed”, Delia said; “he was killed because of the environment of impunity created by the Labour government who used to let criminals run the country”.  The opposition leader appealed to people to stand up together to defend Malta’s democracy and to stop that environment from developing further.

PL Reacts: If Delia wants to be credible, he should resign himself

The Labour party called Delia's speech "surreal" and one that belies "politics without credibility".  In a statement pubished in reaction to the Opposition Leader's speech, the Labour party said that Delia had cherry-picked which story to comment on and which should result in resignations.

The statement read that if Delia wanted to retain any sense of credibility, he should address the issues brought about in his confrontation or do as he is telling others to do and resign.

They said that Delia had been backed into a corner because his predecessors have forced him to continue with the negativity that they themselves had started.

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