A year later and the promised proof of who paid for Joseph Muscat and Edward Zammit Lewis’s French vacation has yet to be released
It’s been just over a year since Lovin Malta reported on a public holiday former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis took to a luxury hotel in France, but promised that proof of who actually paid for their stay has not yet materialized.
Sources told Lovin Malta that the murder suspect, Yorgen Fenech, partially funded their stay in 2014 at the Hilton hotel in Évian-Les-Bains, which is part of the Tumas group, a group of companies belonging to the Fenech family.
Muscat and Zammit Lewis both denied this.
Tumas Group chairman and CEO Ray Fenech said at the time that he had no problem releasing evidence who paid for this trip if he gets clearance from the Hilton and is satisfied that such publication does not infringe the Maltese and French data protection regimes.
Fenech told Lovin Malta this week that he had received the information but had not yet received clearance.
Zammit Lewis had said last year that there was evidence he and Muscat paid for the hotel stay themselves, but that he did not have receipts from six years ago.
“I assure you that I have always acted ethically and correctly, not only during this vacation but in everything I do as a minister,” he said.
However, during his testimony at the public inquiry of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Zammit Lewis said he had receipts for all the events he had organized at hotels in Fenech.
Repeated requests to the minister over the following months to publish the evidence were denied.
Meanwhile, Muscat declined to confirm who paid for the trip, other than saying no public or EU funds were used, but rejected a request to produce six-year-old receipts.
Since then, more information about Zammit Lewis and Muscat’s relationship with Yorgen Fenech has come to light.
Zammit Lewis had repeatedly messaged Fenech in 2019, telling the businessman that he “misses him so much”, that he is “worried” about him and that “ignorant PL voters under- estimate “.
The existence of these messages was first revealed by Lovin Malta and several of them were recently published by author and former PL delegate Mark Camilleri.
Inspector Keith Arnaud also confirmed in court that Muscat opened a private conversation on WhatsApp between himself, Yorgen Fenech, and former OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri on December 6, 2017. .
It was a day after George Degiorgio, Alfred Degiorgio and Vince Muscat were arrested for the murder of Caruana Galizia.
Muscat confirmed that he knew Fenech was a suspect in the murder when he invited him to his private birthday party in Girgenti in February 2019, where Fenech sadly offered three bottles of Petrus wine to Muscat.
The former prime minister has said on several occasions that he invited Fenech to the party after consulting with Malta’s security services, who advised him to act normally with the businessman so as not to arouse his suspicions that he was under investigation.
However, Fenech has told the police that he discussed the murder with Muscat in Girgenti, especially if intermediary Melvin Theuma could be trusted.
Muscat has vehemently denied this claim.
Cover photo: Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis (left) with former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
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