Zammit Lewis says hotel stay in France is paid for, but doesn’t say by whom

“There is evidence that he was paid,” Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said when asked to clarify who paid for this stay at the Évian-Les-Bains Hilton in northern France in 2014, but he did not say who actually paid for the trip.

Last Thursday, Lovin Malta Story announced that Zammit Lewis and former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat went on a private vacation to the Hilton hotel in Évian-Les-Bains, France, owned by the Tumas Group.

Sources told Lovin Malta it was partly funded by the main suspect in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination, Yorgen Fenech, who was once director of the Tumas group. The story said the vacation was in 2017, but Muscat and Zammit Lewis said it was actually 2014.

He and former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat declined to say who paid for their hotel stay, but Muscat told The Times of Malta that they paid for the flights themselves.

After a press conference on Tuesday, the media again asked Zammit Lewis for a clear answer on who paid for hotel accommodation.

“They sent me questions about it, and I answered clearly, if you look at this answer, or if those who sent the questions look at my detailed answer and get the correct date, you can rest assured that you will have your answer, “he said, referring to the Lovin Malta article for mistaking the date of the trip.

When asked if he would give the names of those who paid for the trip, he replied that he had nothing to add.

Asked to provide proof that he paid for the trip, he said; “I can assure you that there is proof that the trip has been paid for.”

When further pressured into giving the name of who paid for the trip, he said he did not have the receipts from six years ago and stressed that he has always acted ethically. in everything he had done in regard to his ministerial work. .

As of Thursday, Muscat told The Times of Malta that “staying in France a few years ago was part of a family vacation, and no local taxpayers or EU funds were used. We have traveled to and from Malta on commercial flights and paid accordingly. ”When asked to clarify whether he paid for accommodation or just the flights, Muscat said:“ I answered quite clearly, ”and returned the newspaper to its original source.

Zammit Lewis then posted a statement on Facebook, claiming that the news article – which was originally posted on Lovin Malta, was intended to undermine his political character and the work he has done on behalf of the rule of law and good governance.

It was requested by The independent of Malta to clarify whether, in the end, he paid in full for his own accommodation and that of his family or whether it was partially paid for by someone else, or given away free of charge.

“I never asked for anything to be free,” he said, then suggesting that this newsroom investigate PN deputies who he says are renting hotels from the Tumas group or still doing legal work for them. “Do your job well as I did by introducing sweeping reforms into our system,” he said.

During this time, The Malta Independent Sunday last weekend reported that Tumas Group was trying to work out how hosting is paid.

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