Malta, Labour Minister under investigation in a failed robbery
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltese Labour government Minister Carmelo Abela was summoned by the police for questioning in connection to a failed heist on the HSBC headquarters in 2010. He stated that he answered every question “because I have nothing to hide and I want the whole truth to come out”.
Minister Abela has been implicated as an accomplice in the 2010 HSBC heist by State witness Vince Muscat, who was sentenced to jail for 15 years after admitting to murdering maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia after reaching a plea bargain agreement.
Last year, Muscat told investigators that one of the accomplices in the heist had provided the robbers mobile phone footage of the route they had to take to get to the bank’s control room.
But Abela has categorically denied the accusations and refused to resign from the Cabinet of Ministers, at least until his name is cleared. In a matter of few weeks, Minister Carmelo Abela has gone from denying ever being questioned by police over the foiled bank heist in 2010, to not recalling ever being questioned.
However, early this week it was revealed that in February 2011, the then Opposition Labour MP was summoned as a witness by the prosecution in their case against the alleged robbers. In his testimony, held behind closed doors at his own request, Abela not only admitted having access to equipment that produced access cards for HSBC Bank’s main office in Qormi but he also testified that he would use the cotag machine if his work colleague was on leave or sick leave. Abela who worked in the bank’s insurance department, had testified that if the need arose he would also take care of other matters linked to the department, including the security section.
Abela has sued Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi for libel over claims that he was promised 300,000 to be the would-be robbers’ inside man.