Delia challenges Azzopardi to resign if no inappropriate links with Fenech emerge

Adrian Delia Xarabank

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Former Partit Nazzjonalista leader Adrian Delia has challenged fellow MP Jason Azzopardi to resign if no wrongdoing emerged from the WhatsApp exchange he had with murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.

Delia was interviewed on a Xarabank Special by Peppi Azzopardi on Wednesday after he lost the Partit Nazzjonalista leadership race on Saturday.

Earlier this year, the Times of Malta published a series of WhatsApp chats between Delia and Fenech in early 2019, before the latter was arrested for the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia but after he was outed as the owner of the Dubai-based company 17 Black.

The news provoked protests from backbenchers which resulted in a leadership race where Delia faced off Bernard Grech.

He initially denied having received messages from Fenech and only later confirmed that he deleted his WhatsApp chat with Fenech saying their conversation was insignificant.

The WhatsApp messages are set to be presented in court in the compilation of evidence against Fenech. However, lead investigator in the murder, Police Inspector Keith Arnaud has already confirmed in court that the chats published were the “exact text”.

Speaking on Xarabank, Adrian Delia accused Azzopardi of being a “liar” and who “fabricates” stories on other people.

Visibly angry at Azzopardi, Delia said that the MP is not the party and the party should aim at being everything which Azzopardi is not. He maintained that when Azzopardi was threatened he sought to support him, adding that it was Azzopardi in the first place who did not want to work with him.

“He [Azzopardi] sent messages saying that I was corrupt, a sell-out and that I have business relations with Yorgen Fenech,” Delia said.

Delia claimed that none of the messages set to be presented in court show that there was any wrongdoing on his part. He recalled parliamentary group meetings when then still a party leader, Delia had told his fellow MPs that if there was any wrongdoing he would resign on the spot.

“Let’s see if he does the same and resigns the moment it is clear that all he said was lies. He’ll be doing everyone a favour,” Delia said referring to Azzopardi.

Delia to contest general election

During the programme, Delia said that he would contest the upcoming general election on behalf of Partit Nazzjonalista.

He reiterated that he has pledged his support to newly elected PN leader Bernard Grech and would defend him if he had to come under attack.

Delia maintained that Grech was elected through a democratic process and the party’s paid up members had voiced their opinion on who should lead them in the next election, adding that he respects the decision.

The outgoing Opposition leader explained that as soon as the result was known he messaged Grech promising his support and loyalty. Delia described his meeting with Grech following the election as positive while disclosing that there was no concrete decision on what role Delia would have in the party and in parliament.