Murderers’ sworn declaration exhibited in libel case over claim ex minister was linked to HSBC heist

Jason Azzopardi exhibits sworn declaration by Degiorgio brothers implicating ex ministers in HSBC heist as libel proceedings against him continue

Jason Azzopardi
Jason Azzopardi

Jason Azzopardi has exhibited in court a sworn declaration by brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio in which they implicate two former ministers in the 2010 HSBC heist.

Azzopardi was testifying in ongoing libel proceedings against him filed by former minister Carmelo Abela over a Facebook post in which the ex-PN MP linked Abela with the infamous attempted armed robbery at HSBC Bank’s Qormi head office in 2010.

In his April 2021 Facebook post, Azzopardi had also claimed that Abela received a €300,000 as payment for an alleged role in the robbery.

Abela had issued a categorically denial of Azzopardi’s claims and sued him for libel.

The Degiorgio brothers are currently in prison serving 40-year sentences for carrying out the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. In a sworn declaration, earlier this year they claimed that Carmelo Abela and Chris Cardona had “given instructions in order for the heist at HSBC’s Head Office to go ahead.”

Azzopardi told Magistrate Rachel Montebello that to date, neither Cardona nor Abela had attempted to file any form of legal action against the Degiorgio brothers in order to clear their names.

The failed hold-up at the bank’s Qormi HQ, during the course of which, some 75 gunshots were fired, and a police officer stationed at the bank briefly taken hostage, remains one of the most violent in Malta’s history. 

Police officers arriving at the scene had been forced to take cover behind their vehicles while exchanging fire with the robbers, who then fled the scene in a getaway car.

Abela is being represented by lawyer Pawlu Lia. Lawyer Joseph Zammit Maempel is assisting Azzopardi.