Police have decided against opening a criminal investigation into former Times of Malta managing director Adrian Hillman after finding no criminal grounds to accusations levelled against him by parliamentary secretary Clayton Bartolo.
“Kindly note that the Malta Police Force had contacted the relevant authorities to see if the case merits a Police investigation,” a spokesperson for the police told Lovin Malta. “After receiving all necessary information, it was established that this case does not involve any misappropriation of funds or any other criminal offence. In view of such facts, the Police are not involved in this case.”
Last night, Bartolo, recently appointed parliamentary secretary for financial services and the digital economy, announced that he had ordered Hillman’s dismissal from a consultancy position with the Malta Gaming Authority.
I've learned that Adrian Hillman has been taking payments intended for a private company through consultancies from @MaltaGamingAuth. I've ordered this contract to be terminated immediately as a show of zero tolerance to potentially damaging behavior to such a crucial industry
— Clayton Bartolo (@BartoloClayton) January 23, 2020
“I’ve learned that Adrian Hillman has been taking payments intended for a private company through consultancies from the Malta Gaming Authority,” Bartolo tweeted. “I’ve ordered this contract to be terminated immediately as a show of zero tolerance to potentially damaging behaviour to such a crucial industry.”
Hillman then accused Bartolo of personally attacking him and threatened to sue the parliamentary secretary for libel.
“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 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.