‘Carmelo Abela compromised, he must step down’, says David Thake

Nationalist Party files protest with Broadcasting Authority after PBS does not air Bernard Grech’s call for Minister Carmelo Abela’s resignation during evening bulletin

Nationalist MP David Thake
Nationalist MP David Thake

Carmelo Abela is politically compromised and should step down to avoid tarnishing Malta's reputation, Nationalist MP David Thake believes.

Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspects Alfred and George Degiorgio have claimed that Abela was involved in the 2010 heist on HSBC headquarters and will be willing to provide information in return for a presidential pardon.

Abela has denied the accusations, insisting they are being made by criminals in cahoots with the PN.

Asked whether Abela’s resignation would create a precedent that encourages other criminals to make allegations on politicians expecting them to step down, Thake insisted there was a difference between political and criminal responsibility.

“It is up to the courts and the police to see whether he was criminally involved,” Thake said. “But he is already compromised as a politician, and should step down for the sake of the country and its reputation.”

“The PN is calling for political responsibility because we cannot risk the country’s reputation once again being tarnished by the Office of the Prime Minister,” he said.

 Thake was speaking at a press conference on Thursday during which he lamented the lack of coverage by the Public Broadcasting Services of the Opposition leader's call for the minister's resignation.

The Opposition leader yesterday called for Abela’s removal after he was explicitly mentioned by murder suspects George and Alfred Degiorgio in a letter to the Justice European Commissioner. In their letter, the pair said Abela provided information and equipment used to carry out the heist.

Thake said the PN has filed a protest with the Broadcasting Authority on PBS's refusal to carry Bernard Grech's statement.

“The PBS has literally censored the Nationalist Party,” he said. “This approach by it and the government has to stop.”   

On Wednesday, Carmelo Abela refused to say whether he would be filing a defamation suit against the Degiorgio brothers.

He again denied any involvement, insisting the claims are untrue, and that the PN is in cahoots with criminals.