Dueling facts in the post-truth era
“Complete and total exoneration” Trump bragged. The Mueller investigation had concluded that Russia interfered in the election to benefit Trump. Mueller stated that Trump was “untruthful and incomplete” in his answers. He had not exonerated Trump. But Trump didn’t let facts stand in his way.
As soon as the PN due diligence report was concluded, Delia immediately published adverts with a fake seal “Due diligence cleared”. He spent an hour hectoring journalists – there were no “shadows” hanging over him. He called detractors, including myself, “liars” and “diabolical”. He fibbed that the report “confirms that I am clean”. The report did no such thing. Quite the contrary. But like Trump he was not going to let facts get in the way.
What the panel found were serious allegations that “would render him unfit for office” or “constitute a serious lack of judicious behavior”. They found “inappropriate behaviour”.
Delia could “not recall having opened” a Jersey Bank Account. Daphne Caruana Galizia published the account number of that account. He did not deny owning the account. He simply “could not remember”.
The panel documented that “if allegations that the FIAU had concluded that Delia had an account in Jersey for money laundering are true, it would render Dr Delia unfit for public office.” The Times reported on 2nd December 2018 that police sources confirmed that they received an FIAU report in March 2018 about prostitution and Delia’s alleged involvement.
Delia bragged that his financial situation is solid. But Mgarr Developments Ltd in which he has a share still owes 1.2 million euro. He claimed that if the company sells the remaining properties it will be able to pay outstanding liabilities – the same excuse as in 2017. He even blamed the delay on COVID.
He was peeved because I pointed this out in my previous articles and accused me of lying.
A contract of constitution of debt amounting to 7.298 million was formalized between HSBC and company shareholders, including Delia. He stood surety, jointly and severally for the total sum. He was peeved because I pointed this out in my previous articles and accused me of lying. But this was documented in his own 2017 statement of affairs. The panel confirmed this too.
The Panel found it unusual “that a project of this nature extended over 14 years and that accumulated losses were recorded in spite of favourable market conditions”.
He also owns shares in Carnaby Ltd which he claimed he is in the “process of selling”. But he owes the company “a sum of money” for products purchased on credit. Hadn’t he promised in 2017 to dispose of his shares “within months” of becoming party leader?
He was involved in other companies which were struck off as defunct. The panel could not determine the manner of liquidation. “This would have been particularly relevant in the context of 10 interlinked companies where the exact nature of the relationship and professional independence required clarification” – a euphemism for “this stinks to high heaven”.
In his 2019 filings Delia has outstanding loans of 600,000 euro in addition to the business exposures totaling over 1.2 million. He still owes another 60,000 in tax, interest and charges.
If Delia’s financial situation is so solid, why does he have thousands of euros in overdrafts and loans on credit cards? Why did his in-laws pay 55,000 euro in March 2018 and 65,000 in April 2018 to settle his tax bills? Why did they pay his Swiss holiday 10,255 euro hotel bill?
No wonder the panel concluded that “meeting financial commitments is an ongoing task” for Delia.
On the B’Kara goalkeeper episode they concluded that this “could and should have been handled much better”. It would have been more appropriate to confront Kopric in a “more congenial location”. The manner in which Delia confronted him “was inappropriate”.
On the Arcidiacono issue Delia claimed that Arcidiacono had consented to the 86,210 euro HSBC paid Delia. Arcidiacono has categorically denied that he authorized such payment.
Delia claimed this was not a “success fee” as he provided other professional services. Arcidiacono rebutted: “Delia wanted to charge a success fee as acknowledged by the bank”. No services mentioned before the panel were listed in invoices issued to Arcidiacono. “The concept of charging a success fee is ethically dubious” the panel commented.
Delia stated that the messages with Yorgen Fenech were “a fabrication”. But he asked the Commissioner to investigate the leaked WhatsApp messages.
The panel stated: “To communicate with Mr Fenech, let alone to consider taking up his offer for lunch, if proved to be true, would constitute a serious lack of judicious behavior which would undermine his credibility.” Evidence before court confirmed Delia communicated with Fenech.
Bernard Grech was not exonerated either. Although he submitted all tax and VAT returns and has no pending liabilities, the Panel noted “with regret that regularisation was only effected after a number of years.” The panel did not detect wrongdoing. The same could not be said about Delia. The two men are poles apart. Grech acknowledged his error, sorted it out and expressed regret.
Delia’s problem is that he denies the facts.
Delia’s problem is not only that he is in dire financial problems, handled the goalkeeper issue inappropriately, may have been involved in money laundering, swindled Arcidiacono and communicated with Yorgen. Delia’s problem is that he denies the facts. He skilfully distorts reality producing alternative facts in the face of incontrovertible evidence.
Bernard Grech responded – I was wrong. I am sorry.
Delia replied – I am completely exonerated. I was always right. Everybody lied about me.
Delia goes further. He spitefully and venomously targets all who have the temerity to mention his misdeeds. Daphne Caruana Galizia was a “Bicca blogger”. Others are “liars”, “traitors” and “diabolical”. He uses his position to intimidate and smear his critics. In his interview with journalists he spouted falsehoods and invective like a burst sewer.
“The time for lies is over” he declared. It will be once the party members have the wisdom to dump him.