Updated April 10 

PN MP Jason Azzopardi is claiming that Minister Carmelo Abela allegedly aided the mastermind behind the attempted HSBC bank heist for a €300,000 payment from the loot.

The accusation comes days after Abela denied any involvement in the 2010 heist that ended in a violent shoot-out, describing any links to him as "stories, fairytales and inventions".

On Friday Abela rebutted the claim and filed a libel suit against the PN MP, saying he categorically denied Azzopardi's lies.

Abela said he had also taken a sworn affidavit denying the claims and said the PN was in cahoots with criminals. 

Last month Azzopardi claimed, using parliamentary privilege, that the alleged hitmen involved in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia were given false keys to an HSBC bank branch and CCTV footage by a sitting minister.

State witness Vince Muscat claims to know of a minister involved in the heist.

Abela worked as a manager with HSBC at the time of the attempted heist.

Reacting to disparaging comments by Abela, on Friday Azzopardi repeated the allegation that the minister had passed on keys and footage.

He alleged that Abela was an accomplice with the mastermind and ensuing attempted murder, as well as an accomplice in the threatening of witnesses via encrypted messaging mobile application Signal.

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