Former Times of Malta director Adrian Hillman has threatened legal action over his dismissal from the Malta Gaming Authority.
Hillman was fired by Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services Clayton Bartolo who alleged in a Tweet that Hillman had been “taking payments intended for a private company through consultancies”.
“I’ve ordered this contract to be terminated immediately as a show of zero tolerance to potentially damaging behaviour to such a crucial industry,” Bartolo said.
Contacted by Lovin Malta, Hillman said he failed to understand Bartolo’s position and “his personal attack”.
“While he (Bartolo) has every right to execute his role as he sees appropriate, his methods do not befit a politician in his position. In making a public statement full of insinuations, he is attempting to destroy a single individual,” Hillman said.
“To him I am guilty by association with members within his own party,” Hillman said, in reference to inquiries into his relationship with the former Prime Minister’s ex-Chief of Staff Keith Schembri.
Hillman added: “He (Bartolo) must be conscious that his predecessor was cognisant of my role over the past years. My understanding is that what he is saying is libellous. He must therefore retract and clarify his statement. I will be acting accordingly.”
Hillman was granted a consultancy role at the Malta Gaming Authority in 2017 for “strategic communication services, reputation management and public relations”.
Earlier that same year, his name cropped up in the Panama Papers scandal after Daphne Caruana Galizia wrote that he had secretly received some €650,000 from the former Prime Minister’s former chief of staff Keith Schembri. This was later corroborated by a leaked FIAU report, which said a reasonable suspicion of money laundering exists.
A magisterial inquiry into the allegation is still ongoing.