Minister Carmelo Abela was promised €300,000 in exchange for helping the would-be robbers in the 2010 HSBC heist, PN MP Jason Azzopardi claimed on Facebook on Friday.
In an explosive Facebook post, the PN MP said that he was reacting after being told that Abela had written about him and tried to insult him with “tomb of Christ” jibes – a reference to a scandal last year where Azzopardi was said to have gone to Israel and stayed at a hotel paid for by Tumas Group.
Abela’s post came about, Azzopardi said, because he had reminded the minister of a case where he had used government workers in 2015 for works in his own personal home.
He said that he is no saint, and told Abela that he is not impressing nor influencing him by mentioning “the tomb of Christ”.
It was here that Azzopardi reeled off the claims against Abela.
“Better the tomb of Christ than being complicit with the mastermind in the HSBC hold-up”, he began.
“Better the tomb of Christ than being complicit in a hold-up against a promise of €300,000 from the robbery”, he added.
“Better the tomb of Christ than being complicit in attempted murder where 67 shots were fired. Better the tomb of Christ than being complicit in telephone calls to threaten witnesses of a hold-up, and with telephone calls on Signal from the mastermind”, he said.’
“That’s it for now”, Azzopardi concluded.
Qaluli li l-Ministru Carmelo Abela illum kiteb fil-konfront tieghi, minghalih jghajjarni bil-“qabar ta’ Kristu” u b’ “…
The allegation that a sitting minister was involved in the failed 2010 heist was first made by Azzopardi, who is the lawyer for the Caruana Galizia family, himself on 103FM during an interview.
Vincent Muscat – better known as il-Kohhu – is seeking a pardon in connection with the heist, having already gotten a reduced 15-year sentence for his involvement as one of the hitmen who killed Daphne Caruana Galizia and a pardon for the murder of lawyer Carmel Chircop, and claims to have information on a sitting minister who was involved in the heist.
Muscat is set to face trial in connection with the heist. He has refused to identify who the minister is with police – something confirmed by Prime Minister Robert Abela himself, who challenged Azzopardi to name who the sitting minister is himself.
Carmelo Abela, who was a manager at HSBC before taking up formal government employment in 2014 and is currently the Minister with the Office of the Prime Minister, has already denied being somehow involved in the attempted heist.