Jason Azzopardi ‘shocked’ by PM’s reaction to minister's alleged involvement in HSBC bank heist

Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi challenges Prime Minister to speak on what action he took when informed about the minister’s alleged involvement in the HSBC heist in 2010

Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi
Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi

Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi expressed his “shock” at the Prime Minister’s reaction to claims that a sitting Labour minister was involved in the HSBC heist 10 years ago.

“The Prime Minister didn’t deny it, he rather confirmed it. It is shocking to hear his reaction. Why hasn’t he denied it?” Azzopardi said, when asked for his reaction to Robert Abela's accusation this morning that he was undermining police investigations.

Vincent Muscat il-Koħħu, one of three men accused of having assassinated the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, has told the police he can name a Labour politician whom he believes helped plan a heist on the HSBC Malta headquarters in 2010.

Muscat has however not identified the man to the police, and instead shared details of the 2010 attempted heist, in which he was involved

The news broke when Azzopardi, who was being interviewed on a radio program 'Andrew Azzopardi on 103' on Saturday morning, first made the claims.

Reacting to his statement, the Prime Minister called out the PN MP for disrupting police’s work when making such claims.

“What Jason Azzopardi is saying is not necessarily what has been told to me. I will take action when the police commissioner advises so - I will not be making decisions on the composition of my Cabinet based on what a member of parliament says on a radio programme involving allegations made by a criminal,” Abela said.

“[Jason Azzopardi] is potentially committing a serious crime in revealing information he allegedly possesses, and is disrupting police investigations in doing so,” he told MaltaToday.

Reacting to the statement, Azzopardi said he will not be intimidated by the Prime Minister.

“I once again call on the PM to answer on when he knew of the allegations? Last Saturday or before?” he said.

He also asked what actions were taken by the PM when coming across the information he had revealed.

“Did you send for the ministers? Did he just let the issue pass?” Azzopardi asked.

Fielding further questions from ONE TV, Azzopardi was asked whether he is breaking Article 133 of the Criminal Code.

“Robert Abela must know that the article you have just quoted refers to public officials. I am not a public official and so I am not infringing on any rules,” he told the ONE TV journalist.

Azzopardi hits out at PBS Head

After answering questions by the national broadcaster on the press conference he was addressing, the PN MP hit out at PBS Head of News Norma Saliba.

He called her out for “defending Labour interests” in not covering the claims he raised on Saturday.

“It is shameful that the national broadcaster didn’t cover the issue. They are defending the Labour Party,” he said.