Opposition leader Bernard Grech was on Thursday unwilling to commit to an internal PN probe into whether his predecessor Adrian Delia accepted cash from 17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech to influence the outcome of the 2019 MEP elections.
Delia’s former right hand man, Pierre Portelli, resigned from the PN’s executive committee last week following further revelations about how he allegedly solicited cash from Fenech.
Questioned by Times of Malta about whether he would be taking action against Delia, Grech instead expressed his admiration for Portelli choosing to resign to protect the party.
Grech said that if allegations about Delia were to emerge he would establish what the facts are before taking action.
Nationalist MP David Thake had alleged in 2019 that Fenech offered the PN’s leadership €50,000 if MEP David Casa’s re-election bid was to be thwarted.
Both Fenech and Delia had denied the claim.
Former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri has similarly alleged that Portelli would meet Fenech monthly to collect €20,000.
Daphne Caruana Galizia murder middleman Melvin Theuma has also testified about being aware of these cash offers.
Pushed about what action he would take, Grech said he believed in all his MPs, including Delia.
“I do not want anyone to lead me by the nose into taking a decision until I have all the facts in hand”.
Questioned if there was an internal investigation to establish these facts, Grech said he would analyse and investigate any new facts if the need arose.
Asked if he believed Thake’s claims, Grech said it was “an allegation” and he had no facts in hand about it.
“I could also gather the facts, but people can also pass the facts on to me. I go by what is factual and what I have in hand...I will not let anyone follow an agenda that does not tally with my agenda of strengthening the party,” Grech said about the possibility of an internal investigation.
A magisterial inquiry into the cash claims is still ongoing.
Delia was ousted from the PN leadership last year after Times of Malta exposed how he kept up communication with the 17 Black owner even after his links to government corruption were made public.
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