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Darren It-Topo Debono Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison Over HSBC Heist

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Darren It-Topo Debono has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his involvement in an attempted HSBC heist in 2020 following a guilty plea.

In a court sitting today, Debono was also fined €18,000 and ordered to pay €11,000 in court expenses.

His admission comes just as the trial by jury for hitman-for-hire Vince ‘il-Koħħu’ Muscat over the case. Following his plea, Debono will now be testifying as a witness. The trial has now been postponed given the development.

The long-awaited trial has already proven controversial.

On 30th June 2010, a group of robbers attempted a heist on the HSBC headquarters in Qormi while police were busy working on a state visit of Italy’s President.

Police were able to arrive on the scene quickly after receiving an anonymous tip off. Some 65 shots were fired at police.

The robbers managed to get away. However, Muscat and Debono were later charged in connection to the robery.

A police constable who was involved in a shootout with fleeing robbers outside the HSBC headquarters in 2010 has asked the courts to allow him not to testify because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder he still suffers as a result.

He had described to the court how he saw three men dressed in suits and wearing wigs leaving the building after suspicious activity was reported.

He ended up in a shootout with the three robbers until reinforcements arrived.

Despite the crime having taken place almost 12 years ago, Muscat’s trial is only due to start now with serious questions raised about the manner in which the case was handled.

Muscat has admitted to his role in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia as well as that of Carmel Chircop in February and has since requested two presidential pardons in relation to the HSBC case.

Muscat has promised to reveal the identity of a sitting and former minister who he says were involved in the botched heist.

His co-accused in the Caruana Galizia assassination, Alfred and George Degiorgio have both filed a similar request, even naming the two as former Economy Minister Chris Cardona and OPM Minister Carmelo Abela in a letter they sent to the European Commission.

It was recently revealed that Lawyers Franco Debono and Roberto Montalto had taken Muscat on as a client and will be defending him in the trial which is set to start this week.

What do you think of the sentence?

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Julian is the Editor at Lovin Malta with a particular interest in politics, the environment, social issues, and human interest stories.

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