Abela releases statement to police in HSBC heist investigation

Minister Carmelo Abela says he expects police to call in and interrogate Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi on the claims he has made

Minister Carmelo Abela
Minister Carmelo Abela

Minister Carmelo Abela has announced in a Facebook post that he has presented a statement to the police on the “calumny” against him, over his alleged involvement in the 2010 HSBC bank holdup.

“I also gave the police a copy of the sworn statement I had already presented in court in the libel case against Jason Azzopardi, who despite having until today to give his reply, has refused to do so,” Abela said.

MaltaToday reported on Sunday the new police investigation started after Abela was publicly linked by Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi to allegations made by Daphne Caruana Galizia hitmen Vince Muscat and Alfred Degiorgio.

The minister, who at the time of the heist worked as a senior insurance and statistics officer within the bank’s Department of Security, Health and Safety, has denied any involvement and initiated libel proceedings against Azzopardi.

Abela challenged Jason Azzopardi to do the same, and present his statement. “I ask, why hasn’t he told policen on what he has alleged, and remained silent?”

The minister said he expects the police to call in Azzopardi and interrogate him.

He also said that anyone who “made the lie his own”, primarily the Opposition leader Bernard Grech, has to shoulder responsibility. “Both of them have shown in the last weeks that they are ready to associate themselves with criminals to gain political advantage.”

Earlier on Monday, the Nationalist Party said Abela must resign from his Cabinet post following reports that police are investigating claims he was an accomplice.

“It's unthinkable that we have a government minister who has retained his post after being investigated over his alleged involvement in the heist,” Nationalist MP Beppe Fenech Adami said on Monday.

READ ALSO: No mediation in libel suit filed by Carmelo Abela against Jason Azzopardi