Delia elusive on WhatsApp conversations with Fenech

NET

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

In spite of his initial suggestions of a fabrication, embattled Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia is refusing to outright deny the veracity of alleged WhatsApp chats between him and Yorgen Fenech dating back to last year.

The conversations took place before Fenech was publicly implicated in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, but after he was revealed to be the owner of Emirati company 17 Black, linked to offshore structures set up by Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri.

The allegation, reported on the Sunday Times of Malta, appears to have led the PN parliamentary group to call for a vote of no confidence in Delia. In the secret vote, proposed by Chris Said and seconded by Therese Comodini Cachia, 19 of the 30 members of the PN parliamentary group – 28 MPs and 2 MEPs – voted against Delia, while 11 chose to back him.

On his part, Delia insisted that the vote was unrelated to the alleged contacts with Fenech, but in a late night press conference where he pledged to soldier on as PN leader and Opposition Leader, the matter was inevitably brought up.

Article ‘not libellous’

In response to questions by Newsbook.com.mt and Lovin Malta, Delia clarified that he did not claim that the chats did not exist, though he insisted that Fenech made no appearance on his own WhatsApp. He even offered to show the messages to a Lovin Malta correspondent after the conference, though this did not materialise.

The PN leader clarified that he had no relationship – professional or otherwise – with Fenech, and that he never asked for or received money from him, as he had declared either oath.

He added that either a fabrication took place, or information which should never have surfaced had leaked, but opted not to clarify matters

Pressed further by Newsbook.com.mt, Delia even said that the article at the heart of the controversy was not libellous. However, he insisted that the provision of the information which led to the article had been illegal for a variety of reasons.

He then said that he would not go into further detail since the matter was subject to an inquiry.