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After Yorgen Fenech Chats Published, Justice Minister Says He ‘Will Remain Focused On His Portfolio’

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Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis has played down the implications of his chats with murder suspect Yorgen Fenech after they were published by author and former PL delegate Mark Camilleri last night.

Asked by Lovin Malta whether he has any response to the publication of the chats, Zammit Lewis said that he already reacted weeks ago and that he remains focused on the portfolio that has been entrusted to him.

When the existence of the chats was first revealed last year, Zammit Lewis described Fenech as an “acquaintance” who he got to know during his tenure as Tourism Minister because the businessman was a leading operator in the industry.

However, after Lovin Malta revealed that the contents of the chats indicated a much closer bond between the two men, Zammit Lewis described his relationship with Fenech as a “friendship”.

“I can also state with a firm conviction that I have always acted with integrity throughout my political career,” he told MaltaToday last August. “No friendship has ever affected my performance as part of the legislative or the executive.”

“I am sure that you very well know that criminal proceedings are the sole responsibility of the Courts of Justice, separate and distinct from the government.”

In the messages published by Camilleri, Zammit Lewis mocks Labour voters as “stupid” and “Ġaħan”, telling Fenech that they “underrate” him and that he’d have “left” (ostensibly politics) if it wasn’t for his wife.

In May 2019, five months before Fenech was arrested for the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Zammit Lewis invited himself and “Keith” (a potential reference to then OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri) over to Fenech’s farm.

Fenech left Zammit Lewis’ message unanswered.

Zammit Lewis invited himself over to Fenech’s farm again in June, but once again his message was ignored.

In September, Zammit Lewis told Fenech that he was on a cruise with then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and that the two of them should meet when he returns.

This time Fenech did respond, but Camilleri left his messages blacked out.

In some of the final messages, on 29th September and 5th October, Zammit Lewis told Fenech that he enjoyed speaking to and meeting him.

Lovin Malta has asked Zammit Lewis whether Keith Schembri had known about the minister’s planned rendezvous with him and Fenech and whether Schembri had told him to set up this meeting himself. Zammit Lewis has yet to respond.

What do you make of these messages? 

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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