A magisterial inquiry has been opened into claims that thousands were secretly passed between Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech and Opposition leader Adrian Delia, via his former right-hand man Pierre Portelli.
Delia denies the claims and says his last communication with Fenech was prior to November 2018, when the businessman’s name was first connected to 17 Black. Jacob Borg caught up with him at the end of the PN’s general council yesterday.
Some doubts still exist about the precise nature of your relationship with Yorgen Fenech. Can you clearly and unequivocally state when the last time you communicated with him was?
There is no doubt at all in my mind and I hope to clear this up.
There is no relationship at all. There never was a relationship. Not a friendship. Not professional.
The only time there was an encounter was an encounter like most others which was happening at that point in time: [he was] one of a number of business people that the Nationalist Party, through me or through others, would meet to be able to discuss anything which is relative to the particular sectors.
But I wasn’t asking when the last encounter was, I was asking when the last time you communicated with him was, which is different.
I had already replied because you had asked me that yourself. Before it was known that there were issues relative to 17 Black, the precise date I don’t have, but certainly before.
[Times of Malta and Reuters revealed 17 Black was owned by Fenech in November 2018]
The political, sort of, decision before that was very simple, meeting as many people as possible.
So are you saying there was no communication between you in 2019?
I am saying that I met…
I’m not asking you about meetings, I’m asking you about communication.
What do you mean by communication?
Mobile, texts, e-mails, whatever.
It is absolutely something that for me to be able to say whether I received, received anything, on any part of social media, most of which I do not even operate myself, because I have my personal number, but there are means of communication where people sent messages.
The real thing is there is no relationship. There is no agreement…
…So there was some communication last year, when he was already known as 17 Black’s owner?
Last year, I don’t recall any communication, any which is of relevance.
So there was some communication then…
…No I didn’t say that.
What do you mean by ‘of relevance’?
If I receive a thousand messages, on Messenger, which I don’t go through all myself, and there was a message, a message, just ‘hi there’, a message, like any others, I have to go through all of them, and go through them.
But there was not any type of communication.
So let’s see what the important thing here is. The important thing is, like you asked me the very first question, which is very relevant, I do not have or never did have any relationship, period.
Not professional, certainly not a friendship. And I think at this point in time in our country, we need to see what relationships there were with people in power.
You’re a person in power…
Of course not, what power, to give contracts?
You’re the opposition leader…
I answered mine. Now let’s see who the people in power were [who] participated in companies, in profits, in literally robbing us of millions.
Those are the most important things. Which doesn’t mean that I don’t have to reply. I did. That’s it, I did. I never had any relationship, never received money, never asked for money, never was offered money, at all.
Can I be clearer than that? At all.
You are still not being clear on the communication though, you’re kind of leaving the door open…
You are trying to see if there was any one instance, which I may not even know about, to then be able to say “ah, he lied”. It is not going to happen.
But you would know if Yorgen Fenech, a prominent businessman, 17 Black owner, communicated with you.
Not if it wasn’t relevant in my mind. Not if I didn’t see it. Totally no. Totally.
Sometimes I don’t even know how many e-mails you sent.
Period. Yourself. And I wouldn’t recall which is the last time that Jacob sent me an e-mail.
I don’t know. If I was doing something untoward, I would remember.
If I was doing something illegal, I would certainly remember. If there was any communication that I was afraid of, I would certainly remember.
If there was something I wanted to hide, I would be afraid. There’s nothing to hide. Nothing to worry.
Nothing which is of concern to me and therefore of the public. That’s it. That’s it. Nothing else.
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