PM must take immediate action on Carmelo Abela - Bernard Grech

The ball is in the Prime Minister's court, Grech said

Opposition leader Bernard Grech is calling on the Prime Minister to take immediate action against Minister Carmelo Abela, who was implicated in the 2010 HSBC heist by the alleged assassins behind the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder.

"In a normal country, when you have a Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister who is being interrogated by the police about allegations on a very serious case, this leads to him being at least suspended by the Cabinet until the investigations are completed," he said in a Facebook post on Thursday. 

F'pajjiż normali, meta għandek Ministru fl-Uffiċċju tal-Prim Ministru li qed jiġi interrogat mill-Pulizija dwar...

Posted by Bernard Grech on Thursday, May 20, 2021

"Under the leadership of Robert Abela not only does this not happen but he remains silence. Then we wonder how our country's reputation suffered the blow it did. The ball is in the Prime Minister's court to take immediate action on Minister Abela."

Carmelo Abela confirmed on Wednesday that he had been called in for questioning by police over the matter, but has insisted that he was never called up personally as a witness to testify in the 2010 compilation of evidence on the HSBC heist.

Abela said he had been asked to appear in court as a representative of the bank, not personally, where he answered questions related to the Cotag system, a security access system for the HSBC bank vault in Qormi.

“I have answered all questions and I have nothing to hide. I want the whole truth to emerge,” Abela said. “But I will take all steps to fight this lie,” he said with respect to a libel case he filed against Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi.

Azzopardi alluded to Abela being directly implicated in the HSBC heist, after originally making reference to claims made by Vincent Muscat ‘il-Koħħu’ in his second request for a pardon. Muscat is slated to appear in a trial by jury for his involvement in the HSBC heist, together with Daren Debono ‘it-Topo’ and another accomplice, Fabio Psaila.

“Azzopardi and Bernard Grech have shown themselves willing to associate with criminals just to reach their political aims. It is evident they are collaborating with them,” Abela claimed in a Facbeook post.

The Degiorgios have since requested a presidential pardon for information they have on a former Labour minister as well as a sitting minister, and two middlemen, over their connections to both the Caruana Galizia assassination and other major crimes. They have been refused the pardon by the Cabinet of ministers, and have now filed a constitutional case challenging the refusal.