The Malta Independent 4 December 2020, Friday

Tel Aviv visit: PN Ethics Commission ‘reprimands’ Jason Azzopardi for breach

Thursday, 19 November 2020, 20:29 Last update: about 14 days ago

The Nationalist Party’s Ethics Commission is recommending that PN MP Jason Azzopardi is reprimanded by the administrative committee for a breach of ethics, after he admitted to staying in a hotel in Tel Aviv without paying.

Azzopardi had stayed at the Hilton in Tel Aviv in March 2017 for free, after his bill was “taken care of” by the Tumas Group, operators of the Hilton franchise in Malta. At that time, Yorgen Fenech was a director of the group. He is now accused of masterminding the murder.

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In its report, the commission found that Azzopardi had been in breach of ethical standards, and it recommended that the administrative committee reprimanc him "unequivocally" yo make him understand that the acceptance of such gifts cannot be "tolerated".

PN exponents should "conduct themselves with integrity and correctness", the commission said it is conclusion.

The commission said that it had three choices before it: a repriment, a suspension or expulsion, adding that the punishment should be proportionate to the offence committed.

It noted that the gift did not stop Azzopardi from fulfilling his role "against the institutionalisation of criminality and corruption", and felt that in the circumstances it is recommending a reprimand.

It noted that no official bound by the code is to accept any gifts which "may be understood" to have been given to "create an obligation" on the receiver with regard to the giver. The prohibition of receiving such gifts is "mandatory" as it could create the perception that the donee is indebted to the donor.

"In these circumstances there is a breach of ethics independently of the intention of the donor or the donee and independently of the fact that the acceptance of the gift did not influence the politician in the exercise of his duties," the commission said.

Full report

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