Azzopardi accuses police, Attorney General of collusion over HSBC heist plea bargain

Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi says AG did not allow compilation of evidence against Fabio Psaila, accused of involvement in 2010 HSBC heist, to proceed

PN MP Jason Azzopardi
PN MP Jason Azzopardi

The Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi has accused Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg and Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà of collusion with “government and criminals”, in a cover-up for former Labour minister Chris Cardona and sitting minister Carmelo Abela in connection with the HSBC heist.

On Friday evening, Azzopardi said on Net FM that Buttigieg had dropped the attempted murder charge accusation against HSBC heist suspect Daren Debono ‘it-Topo’, who shot at police in the ensuing shoot-out outside the Qormi bank headquarters.

The charge would have carried a 20-year prison sentence.

Azzopardi said Buttigieg did not ask for a testimony from Debono before he was granted a plea bargain for pleading guilty to his role in the 2010 heist in return to testify against other suspects, “in contrast with what she did a year earlier, when Vincent Muscat ‘il-Koħħu’ gave the names of those involved in two homicides.”

Convicted bank robber Daren Debono told a court on Thursday that he would not testify about his accomplices, despite benefiting from a plea deal, saying he feared for his son’s safety.

On Friday the Nationalist Party called for the resignation of Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg and Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis over the prosecution’s handling of the 2010 HSBC heist case.

“We know that it-Topo refused to name third persons involved in the HSBC heist. However, you are not aware that the AG has to this day not asked for Debono to be added as a witness against Fabio Psaila, who is waiting to be arraigned on the same accusations,” Azzopardi said.

He said that Buttigieg allowed the compilation of evidence against Muscat to proceed but did not open the one for Debono against Fabio Psaila as well.

“Do you know what this means? It means that Victoria Buttigieg did what she did, as she knew that Debono was not going to name third parties involved in the hold up,” Azzopardi said. “This is corrupt, an obstruction of justice and a slap in the face for the Police.”