Why is former MP and ex-minister Carmelo Abela mentioned in the Degiorgios’ Press Release?

In another blog, I wrote:

“Two prominent persons mentioned in this Press Release are the ex-ministers Carmelo Abela and Chris Cardona. I am not convinced that Carmelo Abela is a high-profile mafioso. I am more inclined to think that he too like Yorgen Fenech is a victim of a political and criminal frame-up. Whatever the case this statement by the Degiorgio brothers proves that we have high-profile criminals who were part of the Labour Party and the Labour Government.”

More than two months have passed since the publishing of the above blog and today I am scratching my head when it comes to Carmelo Abela. Why is Carmelo Abela mentioned in the Degiorgios’ Press Release? The Degiorgio brothers have declared that the information that they wrote in the press release, is information that they know about personally and is not hearsay. They also wrote that they are victims of the same prominent persons by whom they were used and they include the ex-minister Carmelo Abela who is also one of the “individuals who, once they introduce you to their circle, you have to obey their orders.”

They added that the truth about a number of crimes that took place, “has been muddled so that certain prominent persons in this country are protected.” Wasn’t Carmelo Abela a prominent person? Among these crimes, we all know that they included the HSBC heist of 2010, adding that:

“On this case we have already given information that involved two former ministers Chris Cardona and Carmelo Abela together with lawyer David Gatt. [……] “Vince Muscat il-Koħħu was part of this team and ended being shot in his side. We have already told the police about the involvement of Minister Carmelo Abela and Vincent Muscat, David Gatt and Melvin Theuma in this case…”

The Degiorgios also wrote that former Minister Carmelo Abela and Chris Cardona, lawyer David Gatt and Vince Muscat were involved in the hold-up of the security van carrying money which took place in Santa Venera as you pass the tunnels.

Can Carmelo Abela clarify why the Degiorgios have mentioned him again as being involved in these two robberies? Let’s go back to past information reported in local media portals.

It was in 2011 when Abela had testified about the failed heist, where he told the court “that he had access to equipment that was used to generate access cards.”

Later, in March of 2021, The Times reported that he has denied any involvement in the HSBC heist. What is interesting is that when he was asked if he would be willing to swear under oath denying his involvement in this heist, the Times wrote that he said that “he had no links whatsoever to the allegations.” “When pressed to answer whether he would repeat his denials under oath, Abela questioned what he would be testifying about given that he was not involved.”

Fast forward two months, in May 2021, and The Times reported that Minister Carmelo Abela was called in by the police for questioning over allegations made by one of the two Degiorgio brothers that he was involved in the heist. “Abela initially told reporters that he ‘could not remember‘ testifying in the case, but has now said that he did so as a bank representative.”

In a Facebook post, Abela had written: “from my own verifications, it has emerged that when I had testified in court years ago, it was not because the police had brought charges against me but because of charges against the bank’s representative and I had testified on behalf of the bank.”

Yet, my question remains: why is it that Carmelo Abela is again mentioned in the Degiorgios’ press release? Is it possible that Abela is a victim of a frame-up all along?

We should be reminded that PC99, Mario Portelli, the star witness in the trial of David Gatt, had stated that David Gatt had confided in him about those and other robberies and had even added that he “had inside information from a bank employee.

Didn’t Carmelo Abela work at the HSBC branch as a bank manager while he was an MP since being an MP is a part-time affair, and before he joined cabinet to become a minister? At the time of the attempted HSBC heist, Abela worked as a manager with HSBC, according to his LinkedIn page and government bio. He had quit the bank in 2014 when he joined cabinet. 

In an article by the Malta Today dating back to 2010, we had learnt that the police were looking into how the robbers had “managed to gain electronic access into the first part of a highly secure part of the HSBC’s headquarters in Qormi. The police had also interrogated a number of HSBC bank employees, suggesting that the police believed “that insider information must have been provided by the robbers.” “Reliable sources have told MaltaToday that the robbers managed to enter the first security doors inside the building that leads to the vaults, that is understood to hold millions of euro’s.” Didn’t PC99 Mario Portelli state that David Gatt had confided in him that he had “inside information from a bank employee”?

When Vince Muscat il-Koħħu was turned state witness in the trial of Yorgen Fenech, he claimed that he knew “of a sitting minister involved in the heist” while murder suspect Alfred Degiorgio also claimed knowledge that could implicate both ex-minister and a current one for masterminding a case that resulted in an attempted robbery, a likely reference to the botched heist.”

Malta is so small. Same robberies. Same David Gatt. Same Degiorgio brothers. Same Vince Muscat il-Koħħu. Same Carmelo Abela of the Degiorgios’ Press Release.

And the mind continues to boggle.

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