Minister Carmelo Abela has confirmed that the police called him in for questioning over allegations that he was involved in a botched bank heist in June 2010. 

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Abela said the police called him in to answer questions related to allegations made by one of the two Degiorgio brothers, who are accused of planting the bomb that killed Daphne Caruana Galizia. 

Earlier, media reports suggested the minister left the police headquarters with his lawyer at around 2.30pm on Wednesday.

Abela confirmed that one of the Degiorgio brothers had named him to police investigators in relation to the failed HSBC Qormi bank heist. 

The minister said he answered all questions because he has "nothing to hide" and wanted the whole truth to come out. 

Abela worked at the HSBC branch as a bank manager before entering politics. 

Times of Malta has previously revealed that Abela testified in 2011 about the failed heist, telling a court that he had access to equipment that was used to generate access cards. 

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.  

Writing on Wednesday, Abela wrote: "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.

"Now, as is right, the police have spoken to me about what was mentioned by one of the Degiorgio brothers," Abela said. 

The Degiorgio brothers have previously said that they can link a sitting minister to a "major crime" and a former minister to the Caruana Galizia murder, offering that information in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

That bid for a presidential pardon was turned down by cabinet, acting on the advice of the attorney general and police commissioner. They have since filed a new pardon request

Abela reiterated that he was being targeted by rival politicians. 

"I will insist that whoever made this lie his own, primarily the Opposition leader, should carry responsibility together with MP Jason Azzopardi once the truth is confirmed," he said. 

He ended his post by accusing both Azzopardi and PN leader Bernard Grech of associating themselves with the strategies of criminals to reach their political aims. 

It is the second time this week that Abela has spoken to the police about the heist allegations. 

On Monday evening, the minister said in a Facebook post that he had gone to police headquarters of his own volition to give a statement where he denied the allegations being made against him.

He also handed a copy of a sworn declaration he had earlier presented in court in libel proceedings against Azzopardi, who had linked him to the claims first made by Vince Muscat, one of the Daphne Caruana Galizia hitmen.

Abela has sued Azzopardi for libel and he said on Monday that the Nationalist MP had not yet replied to his complaint.

Times of Malta reported on Sunday how Abela is also facing a separate police investigation into claims he was one of the inside men who helped facilitate the botched heist.

In a move described as "unusual" and "unnecessary" by several legal experts, Abela was alerted by judge Giovanni Grixti that police had requested a copy of his 2011 testimony. 

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