Adrian Hillman, the former managing director of Allied Newspapers, is “representing the government of Malta” on the Trustee Board of the American University of Malta.
Hillman was named in the Panama Papers exposé, where it was reported that he was the owner of a hidden company in the British Virgin Islands, and is currently the subject of a magisterial inquiry into money laundering involving the the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri.
News of Hillman’s appointment to the Trustees Board was published late in 2017, a year after the controversial University opened its doors. It was only revealed on Friday however during the University’s first inauguration ceremony that Hillman’s capacity on the board was as “representing the government of Malta”.
This was confirmed by the board’s chairperson, Prince Jean de Nassau of Luxembourg, himself during his speech, where he referred to Hillman as being such.
In 2017, Hillman had told Lovin Malta that his position on the board was unpaid.
Asked about this piece of news, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that this news had already been made public and said that he had no problem with Hillman, adding that once all the investigations were complete then the appropriate action can be taken if necessary.
Other members on the board of trustees aside from Hillman and the prince include former Jordanian Prime Minister Taher Masri, BOV’s Taddeo Scerri, and former Jordanian Energy Minister Ibrahim Saif.
Hillman resigned from all his positions within Allied Group after the Panama Papers revealed that he owned a secret company in the British Virgin Islands similar to the ones set up in Panama by Nexia BT’s Brian Tonna for Keith Schembri, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, and Cabinet minister Konrad Mizzi.
An investigation by the anti-money laundering agency FIAU, made public by former PN leader Simon Busuttil, concluded that there was “reasonable suspicion” that Schembri was involved in money laundering after he transferred hundreds of thousands of euros to Hillman.
Asking the police to investigate further, the FIAU had concluded that there was “sufficient evidence to conclude a reasonable suspicion of money laundering and proceeds of crime” over the transfer of more than €650,000 from Schembri to Hillman in varying amounts and to different bank accounts.
A magisterial inquiry into the money laundering allegations is still ongoing and both Hillman and Schembri deny the allegations.
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