Minister Carmelo Abela and former Minister Chris Cardona both met with alleged bank robber Alfred Degiorgio days before the attempted robbery on the HSBC headquarters in Qormi in 2010 to provide him with plans and a set of keys, according to Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi.
Azzopardi was testifying in court in libel proceedings instituted by Carmelo Abela following a Facebook post in which the Nationalist MP alleged that Abela had been offered €300,000 for his role in the botched heist.
Taking the witness stand this morning, Azzopardi claimed that from conversations he had with “professional and police sources”, he had concluded that Vince Muscat – one of the three triggermen in the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination – had provided the information to the police as part of his request for a presidential.
Azzopardi claimed that Muscat had told the police that he had driven Alfred Degiorgio to a Fleur de Lys apartment belonging to lawyer David Gatt where he was given plans of the building, footage from inside as well as false keys to the bank.
He also said that Cardona was subsequently arrested over the incident, a fact which was denied by Cardona when it was previously made by the MP. Cardona had said that while he had been questioned by the police he was never placed under arrest.
Azzopardi insisted that it was unacceptable to have a member of Cabinet linked to such stories.
Responding to questions from Abela’s lawyer Pawlu Lia as to who he believed to have been the mastermind in the case, Azzopardi said that while it appeared that there was more than one mastermind, it was his understanding that the main one was Cardona, with Gatt acting as the middleman.
The remainder of the sitting was heard behind closed doors.
Earlier this month, Azzopardi submitted a court application asking the court to include Alfred Degiorgio, George Degiorgio and Vince Muscat in the case given that they had made the same claims he had.
The Degiorgios have both publicly stated that Abela and Cardona were involved in the botched heist.
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