The Malta Independent 7 August 2020, Friday

Abela says Yorgen Fenech was not on the agenda in meeting with Adrian Delia

Karl Azzopardi Friday, 10 July 2020, 12:26 Last update: about 27 days ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela said that 17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech case was not on the agenda during a meeting he had with Opposition Leader Adrian Delia last week.

Abela was replying to questions from the press after a press conference on Friday morning.

He was asked if he had met up with Opposition Leader Delia and if going slow on Yorgen Fenech, who is accused of being complicit in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, was one of the topics they had discussed.

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“Yes we met. We spoke about his request to meet me as we always do during our regular meetings,” Abela said and followed up by denying that Fenech was even on the agenda of the meeting.

On Monday morning of last week, former OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri testified in court, in the compilation of evidence against Fenech. He said that Fenech had once told him that Delia had gone to Fenech to ask for €50,000 euros for David Casa not to be elected in the 2019 MEP election.

Delia has shot down these claims since then, reminding the public that Schembri and the people around him are implicated in the assassination of the Caruana Galizia, "and this is why he is resorting to lies even while testifying under oath."

Konrad Mizzi and Joseph Muscat are different cases

PM Abela was also asked by this newsroom if he thinks that former PM Joseph Muscat should shoulder the responsibility the recent scandals that have come out during the past few weeks, such as the Montenegro wind farm deal and VGH contract which were signed while he was still PM, and be removed from the parliamentary group just like former Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi.

“I took the decision to not have Konrad Mizzi in the new Cabinet during the reshuffle at the start of the year so he never formed a part of my government. The second decision was taken by the PL’s executive which practically unanimously voted Mizzi out of the party,” Abela said.

He explained that Muscat has already paid the highest political price and emphasised that ever since he was elected PM, in any situation that required someone to resign or not be elected, he has always taken the decisions required – “in fact, Muscat does not make part of the current government.”

When pressed to give an answer on whether Muscat should hold responsibility on the Montenegro and VGH deals, he said that Mizzi and Muscat are two different cases.

“I have already made a distinction between Mizzi and Muscat. Mizzi’s case is related to the Panama Papers case, Muscat’s current position is factually different,” he said.

Missing VGH contract document still not found

Abela was also asked if he has an update on the request he issued to find a document which Auditor General Charles Deguara found missing during the National Audit Office’s assessment of the VGH contract.

The PM said that the document has not been found yet.

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