The Malta Independent 14 July 2020, Tuesday

My fight against corruption seems to be annoying many people - Delia

Saturday, 27 June 2020, 13:12 Last update: about 16 days ago

Opposition Leader Adrian Delia said today that his fight against corruption seems to be "annoying many people" as it has led to the removal and the loss of power of many.

Interviewed by Malta Today journalist Kurt Sansone, Delia said it "is clear that when you start to annoy people in a resolved way based on facts, then the political responsibility must be taken.”

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He added that “as a result of pressure by him and the party, people have been forced to step down,” including Chris Cardona, Lawrence Cutajar and Konrad Mizzi.

Delia was also asked whether he feels the need to resign. In reply, he said that “to date no one has told me that there are investigations or magisterial inquires against me. I am not going to give up and I’m not concerned as I have done nothing wrong, so I do not feel the need to resign because of lies.” 

Delia was questioned whether he ever gone to eat at Yorgen Fenech’s house, called him or communicated with Fenech in some way or another after November 2019.

Delia replied saying that “before the issue arose that Fenech was allegedly involved in criminal acts, he was a very famous businessman like many others.” He confirmed that he had met Fenech as he had gone to a series of meals with a group of business people to a place which looked more of a ‘converted farmhouse’ rather than his home.”

“I had no friendship with Fenech as he was not someone I communicated with, but it was as simple as a meal with a businessman that everyone knew in Malta,” Delia said.  

He added that this whole diabolical “situation started off because (middleman Melvin) Theuma" testified in court about his presence, and subjectively everyone started adding and decorating certain facts how one pleases, especially the Labour media.

Keith Schembri testified on Monday in court that Fenech had once told him how the Opposition Leader asked for 50,000 to stop David Casa from being elected. In addition, Schembri also claimed that Pierre Portelli used to go to Portomaso and collect 20,000 every time in the form of donations from Fenech. Delia denied these allegations made in court by Schembri. Sansone asked Delia whether he still stands by what he said.

He remarked that “these allegations are not true. No one in my life has ever given me money, and I have never accepted it in terms of party positions. If anyone dared to offer me money or I found out that money was being offered not to me, but to someone within my administration, I would immediately take action with the police.”

With regard to the allegation related to the 20,000 allegedly retrieved by Pierre Portelli, Delia was asked whether he could swear by any of his officers or members within the party.

He remarked that “as a leader, I am responsible for the function of the party, but I do not handle any accounts. However, when these allegations started to arise, I asked my officers who handle the party’s accounts and finances, and they reassured me that the Nationalist Party, after November 2018, did not receive money, did not accept any offers, and did not receive the 20,000 sums in any of our accounts.”

Asked about Prime Minister Robert Abela' performance, Delia said that “he is not capable of taking decisions as he has failed to do so.” Delia made reference to Lawrence Cutajar and said that the right decision that should have been taken by Abela was to fire the police commissioner in January, rather than appoint him as his consultant.

With regard to the possibiliy that Malta is greylisted by Moneyval for its failure to tackle money laundering, Delia said that “this would make it very difficult for the country to promote business, thus it would impact the economy and the country itself very negatively.”

Asked on the recent poll numbers regarding the two parties, Delia said that “the Labour party will continue to lose its support. As a Nationalist Party we are determined and are working on earning the trust of people who are currently undecided.”

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