Watch: Meeting 17 Black owner does not hurt PN's fight against corruption - Delia
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Watch: Meeting 17 Black owner does not hurt PN's fight against corruption - Delia

PN leader says he did not know of MPs' meeting with Yorgen Fenech

Adrian Delia insisted the MPs had not hurt the party. Video: Jonathan Borg

Updated at 5.29pm 

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has said he did not know that two of his closest MPs had met 17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech, but insisted that this did not dent the party’s fight against corruption.

Dr Delia was asked on the matter at the end of a visit which the PN parliamentary group paid to President George Vella at the presidential palace in Valletta on Monday.

The Sunday Times of Malta revealed that PN MPs Kristy Debono and Hermann Schiavone had met Yorgen Fenech to seek a sponsorship.

Mr Fenech is the owner of 17 Black, one of two companies set up to pay $2 million to Panama companies belonging to the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi.

He is also one of the directors of the consortium awarded a contract to build the €450 million Delimara power plant, under the watch of Mr Mizzi who at the time was Energy Minister.

Evasive replies

On Monday, Dr Delia - who is also PN spokesman for good governance - was evasive when confronted with the matter.  While hinting that they could have made an error of judgment, he insisting that none of them had done anything criminal.

Dr Delia added that it was crucial that this controversy did not overshadow the ongoing 17 Black inquiry.

When it was pointed out to him that following this meeting the PN had lost its moral authority to speak against corruption, he said that good governance had to do with the conduct of those in power.

Delia meets President Vella

Earlier, Dr Delia and President George Vella addressed the media at the end of a meeting Malta's new head of state held with the PN's parliamentary group.

The PN leader welcomed the pro-life stance of taken by President Vella while expressing his concern on the current situation in Libya, which he said could have repercussions on Malta.

On his part Dr Vella thanked PN MPs for supporting his nomination for President, while urging them to lead by example.

The PN parliamentary group paid President Vella a visit. Photo: Jonathan BorgThe PN parliamentary group paid President Vella a visit. Photo: Jonathan Borg

“Your conduct has to portray integrity and must show that you are really honourable members,” he said.

Dr Vella also expressed concern on the escalation of tensions in Libya, while calling for a diplomatic solution. He added that trouble in this neighbouring North African country would not bode well for the Maltese economy and would also have other repercussions, such as a spike in migration.

The President also referred to last Satuday’s murder of a 42-year-old Ivorian in an area between Birżebbuġa and Ħal Far. He expressed his hope that such gruesome act was not racially motivated.

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