Zammit Lewis, lawyer to Dizz Group, abstains from scrutiny of Izzo ambassadorship

Muscat family friend and national waterpolo coach Karl Izzo made non-resident ambassador to Montenegro • Labour MP Edward Zammit Lewis abstains from parliamentary committee that will scrutinise nomination

Karl Izzo (centre) with, from left, Diane Izzo, Michelle Muscat, Elena Zammit Lewis, wife of the Labour MP, and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Karl Izzo (centre) with, from left, Diane Izzo, Michelle Muscat, Elena Zammit Lewis, wife of the Labour MP, and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

Malta’s national waterpolo team coach Karl Izzo has been nominated by the government to serve as non-resident ambassador to Montenegro.

Izzo, a personal friend of Joseph Muscat, is expected to appear in front of a parliamentary committee that scrutinises public appointments on Tuesday.

The committee is normally chaired by Labour MP Edward Zammit Lewis, who, however, has abstained from tomorrow’s hearing.

Zammit Lewis is a personal friend of Izzo and also serves as a lawyer to the Dizz Group, the retail and fashion company owned by Izzo and his wife Diane Izzo.

The Labour MP said he abstained from the hearing back in December when the committee was formally notified by the government of Izzo’s nomination.

“The moment I got to know of Karl Izzo’s nomination, I immediately informed Parliament that I was abstaining because he is a friend of mine and I also provide legal services to the Dizz Group. It never crossed my mind to chair the committee or be present for the scrutiny,” Zammit Lewis said.

He noted that a motion was presented in Parliament on 6 December for his substitution as chairperson with Labour MP Robert Abela for the “whole scrutiny process of Karl Izzo’s nomination”.

Izzo has been the head coach of the national senior men’s waterpolo team since January 2013. He has no previous diplomatic experience, which, however, is not a first for ambassadorial posts.

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