Two of the three men charged with carrying out the failed 2010 heist on the HSBC headquarters have had their cases put off indefinitely since the inquiring magistrate in the case has decided to hear new as yet unnamed witnesses.
Muscat, known as il–Koħħu and Debono who goes by it-Topo are both awaiting to stand trial over their alleged involvement in the heist.
The pair, along with Fabio Psaila, are believed to have been the three men who broke into the bank, firing some 65 rounds at the police as they escaped.
Lovin Malta has reported on how court testimony by Muscat in recent months harks back to the claims made by former police officer Mario Portelli, in the case against lawyer David Gatt, who he had accused of masterminding the failed robbery.
Despite the accusations he was facing, Gatt never appeared before a jury instead of having his case decided by the Court of Magistrates, which acquitted him of all wrongdoing.
In a sitting before Judge Giovanni Grixti this morning for him to set a date for their trial by jury, the parties in the case were informed that the case was being put off indefinitely since the acts of the case had been sent to the inquiring magistrate.
Incidentally, Grixti had also led the inquiry into the claims made by former police officer Mario Portelli about the 2010 botched heist.
It is understood that Grixti put off the case Sine Die – meaning that it has been put off without a date set for the next sitting – since the inquiring magistrate intends to hear new witnesses in the case. The number of witnesses that will be heard and their identity is at this point unknown.
It is possible that the magistrate intends to hear evidence from state witness in the Daphne Caruana Galizia assassination, Melvin Theuma, or possibly even the Degiorgio brothers in the eventuality that they have managed to strike a deal with the police.
While some sources who spoke with Lovin Malta said this was a possibility, others said this was unlikely.
For new witnesses to be heard after a Bill of Indictment has been issued, important new evidence needs to have emerged, as happened in the Caruana Galizia assassination case against Muscat and the Degiorgio’s, after Melvin Theuma was granted a presidential pardon.
The case was reopened in order to allow the court to hear new evidence from Theuma.
The HSBC case has hit the headlines once again recently after links were drawn between the attempted robbery and Minister Carmelo Abela.
Earlier this month, Abela was revealed to have testified before an inquiring magistrate regarding security equipment he had access to, and which is believed to have been used in the daring heist. It was revealed last week that the police are investigating the minister’s potential involvement.
Abela has vehemently denied the accusations, with Prime Minister Robert Abela sticking by him despite calls for his resignation, at least until he is cleared of wrongdoing.
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