Former PN leader Simon Busuttil has urged Prime Minister Robert Abela to sack OPM minister Carmelo Abela in light of serious accusations that he was involved in the infamous 2010 HSBC heist.
Interviewed by Andrew Azzopardi on Radio 103, Busuttil said the accusation, voiced by PN MP Jason Azzopardi in light of information allegedly passed on by murderer Vince Muscat, should be enough for the Prime Minister to remove Carmelo Abela from Cabinet.
“Jason [Azzopardi] released specific details, including the exact amount of money Carmelo Abela was allegedly offered,” Busuttil argued. “In such a situation, the first thing I look at isn’t whether the person is guilty or not, because that’s up to the courts, but the Prime Minister’s political duty.”
“If we stay waiting for the courts to decide, we might have to wait ten more years. If he’s found guilty, then what? We’d have had to spend a further ten years with this minister in charge.”
“When there’s so much dirt in the government, the Prime Minister has no other choice but to remove Carmelo Abela from his Cabinet until he clears his name.”
Vince Muscat (Il-Koħħu), who has pleaded guilty to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination, has implicated a sitting minister in the infamous 2010 failed heist on HSBC’s headquarters, which he has been charged with.
He appears to be holding this information close to his chest as a bargaining chip to achieve some kind of clemency for the crime.
Last weekend, Azzopardi implied that Muscat was referring to Abela, who was an HSBC manager at the time of the heist. He implied that the minister had provided the thieves with replica keys and footage of the bank, and was promised €300,000 in return for his complicity. He also suggested Abela was “complicit” in Signal phone-calls to threaten witnesses.
Abela responded by promptly suing Azzopardi for libel, denouncing the accusations as an absolute lie.
“I have absolutely nothing to do with this crime… the police never spoke to me about and I was never investigated,” he said. “I invite Jason Azzopardi to either immediately submit his proof with regards to the false allegations he made against me, or to retract them.”