Minister Carmelo Abela has denied any involvement in a bank heist that occurred more than a decade ago, describing any links to him as "stories, fairytales and inventions".

When asked whether he would be willing to swear under oath that he was not involved in the foiled 2010 HSBC heist in any way, Abela said that he had no links whatsoever to the allegations.  

"Where are these allegations coming from?" the minister in the office of the prime minister said.

"If these allegations came from a court testimony it would be one thing, but if someone is throwing out names carelessly, that's a different thing altogether," he told Times of Malta outside parliament on Wednesday.

Abela was speaking one day after Nationalist MP Jason 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.

"Stories, fairytales and inventions": Carmelo Abela denies any involvement in the HSBC heist. Video: Julian Delia

The items were allegedly supplied ahead of an attempted heist in 2010 that ended in a violent shoot-out. Azzopardi also claimed that former minister Chris Cardona was arrested following that botched robbery. 

State witness Vince Muscat claims to know of a sitting minister involved in the heist. On Wednesday, murder suspect Alfred Degiorgio also claimed knowledge that could implicate both an ex-minister and a current one for masterminding a case that resulted in an attempted robbery, a likely reference to the botched heist.

Abela worked as a manager with HSBC at the time of the attempted heist, according to his LinkedIn page and government bio. He quit the bank in 2014 when he joined cabinet. 

Neither Azzopardi, nor the murder suspects have named Abela as the sitting minister allegedly involved.

Speaking on Wednesday, Abela reiterated his "categorical denial" of any suggestion that he is linked to the heist.

"I have categorically denied this the first time it was mentioned and will keep on denying that I had any involvement in the case you mentioned," Abela said.

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.

"There were multiple times in which I challenged certain colleagues to mention names publicly without using parliamentary privilege, and the challenge is still there," Abela said.

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