A police inspector confirmed on Thursday that messages were exchanged in 2019 between opposition leader Adrian Delia and murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.
Times of Malta had published excerpts of the Whatsapp chats in July, leading to insinuations by the PN leader that the chats had been fabricated in a bid to link him with Fenech.
The revelation about the chats, coupled with Delia's low poll ratings, sparked a rebellion in the party's ranks and led to a leadership election. A contest between Delia and newcomer Bernard Grech is underway.
However, Keith Arnaud, the lead investigator in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation, confirmed in court that the chats published were the “exact text”.
Fenech’s mobile was seized by investigators and handed to Europol following his arrest in November 2019.
In the messages exchanged between the pair, Fenech pledged his support for Delia following the Nationalist Party’s drubbing in the 2019 European Parliament elections.
After initially attempting to cast doubts on the veracity of the chats, Delia went on to file a police report in a bid to reveal Times of Malta’s source.
Prior to the revelations, Delia had initially claimed he had no communication with Fenech since his name was linked to 17 Black in November 2018.
He later said he had no “communication of relevance” with Fenech in 2019.
A magisterial inquiry is under way to gather evidence into claims that Fenech offered the party leadership, via Delia's former right hand man Pierre Portelli,€50,000 if David Casa failed to retain his European Parliament seat last year.