The Malta Independent 17 August 2022, Wednesday

Repubblika calls for resignation of Attorney General after Darren Debono’s re-arrest

Thursday, 17 February 2022, 17:10 Last update: about 7 months ago

The NGO Repubblika has called for the resignation of Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg following the re-arrest of convicted bank robber Darren Debono, known as ‘it-Topo’, after he refused to answer questions about his accomplices in the 2010 HSBC heist in court this afternoon.

Debono had been given a 10-year prison sentence in exchange for his testimony as part of a plea deal with the Attorney General’s Office. He was rearrested following his refusal to give the full testimony, saying that he would only testify against Vincent Muscat ‘il-Koħħu’.

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The Attorney General has seemingly ‘forgiven’ Debono for attempted murder on police officers at the scene of the heist, through the plea deal which excluded this particular charge of attempted murder, said Repubblika.

The group accused the AG of choosing between criminals, prosecuting Muscat, who was willing to name all accomplices, however his plea bargain was denied.

“Darren Debono told the court today that he fears for his family’s lives if he mentions who was complicit in the robbery besides Vince Muscat. Vince Muscat is being prosecuted for that theft, yet, after he offered to mention all the accomplices, his plea bargain was denied,” it said.

Muscat had reportedly identified Minister Carmelo Abela and former Minister Chris Cardona as allegedly complicit in the crime.  Both Abela and Cardona vehemently deny having anything to do with the botched heist.

“It is clear to us from what we saw in court today that the Attorney General's decision was not in the interests of justice but in the interests of the people whom Muscat has already alleged and was willing to testify against,” it said, further condemning the AG for “protecting government ministers.”

She has also failed to give an explanation for her decision to remove the attempted murder charge, it said.

“It is clear to us that after this betrayal of justice, the Attorney General must resign,” Repubblika said.

The NGO, along with Occupy Justice and blogger Manuel Delia, also called a protest against the AG to take place on Friday 18 February at 18:30, outside her office in South Street in Valletta.

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