Senior Nationalist Party officials on Monday expressed “shock” at various leaks from the personal mobile phone of their embattled party leader Adrian Delia showing attempts by Dr Delia last August to strike a financial deal for the party using its loan scheme known as ċedoli.

Members of the PN’s financial committee, who spoke to Times of Malta on condition of anonymity, condemned the leak of “sensitive financial information related to the PN”, while distancing themselves from any of the ‘initiatives” apparently undertaken by Dr Delia without their knowledge.

“The PN’s financial committee, which among other things, administers this loan scheme and makes sure that it is run with the highest rigour and professionalism, was never informed about any intention of selling or using this asset as some type of collateral,” members told the newspaper.

“If Dr Delia was conducting any kind of discussions, the committee was kept in the dark and was never given details on what was going on. These revelations are news even to us and we are in shock,” they said.

Venting their frustration at the ongoing evolving situation and the leak of sensitive PN information through Dr Delia’s personal means of communications, one senior official said that “this continues to show that what was described as a private and personal matter has now become a very public issue exposing the party’s internal documents and risking the PN’s future”.

According to the leaks seen by Times of Malta, last August Dr Delia asked one of the directors of Global Funds Sicav Plc, Konrad Camilleri, if the financial investment company was interested in raising over €5 million in a deal over the ċedoli scheme.

These revelations are news even to us and we are in shock

In the WhatsApp conversation, Dr Delia asks Mr Camilleri, who resides in his own hometown, Birkirkara, whether Global Capital would be interested in the PN’s ‘loan notes’.

“How realistic is it to get €5.5 million to buy PN ċedoli at 4% per annum and capital after 10 years?” Dr Delia asked.

While Mr Camilleri told Dr Delia, who he addressed as “chief”, that he needed to speak to the Global Capital CEO Paolo Catalfamo, he later said that his boss was interested in discussing the matter.

In the text conversation Dr Delia even mentioned the possibility of securing “the bond against property”, possibly PN property, including party clubs.

It is not yet known whether Dr Delia’s attempt to get some sort of financing through the use of the ċedoli asset was successful. PN officials told Times of Malta in confidence that they were not aware of any such deal.

The PN’s spokesman did not reply to questions about the matter.

On his part, the PN Deputy Leader for Party Affairs, Robert Arrigo, who is in charge of the raising of funds for the party and their administration, including the ċedoli scheme, did not reply when asked about the latest revelations.

Mr Arrigo, also an MP, was asked whether he was aware of Dr Delia’s discussions with Global Capital and whether a deal was struck.

Established under the previous party leadership, the ċedoli scheme was an innovative financial vehicle created by the PN to raise funds. 

In a statement on Tuesday, all members of the PN's finance team denied discussing the party's financial matters with Times of Malta. 

In the statement, signed by Mr Arrigo, secretary general Clyde Puli, treasurer David Camilleri, executive chairman Media.Link Communications Pierre Portelli and financial controller Malcolm Custo, the PN aid Dr Delia had set an ambitious 10-year plan to place the party on a robust financial footing through which it would be able to pay its debts. 

Through the ċedoli scheme, which was harshly criticised by the Labour Party, PN supporters and investors were encouraged to lend the PN small sums of money, up to €10,000, in return for a 4% interest per year and the return of their capital after 10 years.

The scheme proved to be quite successful. In fact, according to the PN’s financial report, by the end of 2016 the scheme had raised over €3.5 million.

 

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