Hillman’s wife made director of AUM institute

OPM refuses to state whether former Allied Newspaper Managing Director Adrian Hillman is still government’s Trustee

 

Velislava Hillman, the wife of former Allied Newspapers Managing Director Adrian Hillman, was appointed director of an academic institute at the beleaguered American University of Malta (AUM) while her husband represented the Office of the Prime Minister on the same university’s board of Trustees.

AUM sources told The Shift that Hillman’s wife, who obtained a PhD in Media and Communications in 2018, was recruited as a senior researcher and appointed director at the university’s only institute – the Data, Media and Society Centre – an idea promoted to the AUM board by her husband.

It is unclear whether Hillman, who is currently under criminal investigation over money laundering claims, is still on the AUM’s Board of Trustees. The Office of the Prime Minister again declined to answer questions sent on the matter, as did the AUM’s Provost.

“Ethics do not seem to matter much for the AUM,” a source at the university told The Shift.

When Hillman was still at the helm of Allied Newspapers, he had also involved his wife who got her own publication.

Adrian Hillman, who in 2016 resigned from his post of Managing Director at Malta’s longest established media organisation following claims of graft and money laundering involving Keith Schembri, was soon after nominated by then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to represent the OPM on the AUM’s board of trustees. He was also given a lucrative government consultancy contract at the Malta Gaming Authority to ‘manage its reputation’.

His nomination on the AUM’s Board was kept secret and only revealed years later.

In 2019, following parliamentary questions by former PN leader Simon Busuttil, Muscat said that Hillman had been appointed as the sole Malta government representative on the AUM’s board of trustees and his appointment was for three years. Muscat did not say when Hillman was appointed or when his term ends. He also failed to explain Hillman’s connections with the Prime Minister’s Office.

Hillman’s appointment at the AUM was made despite public allegations that he had received some €650,000 in kickbacks from Keith Schembri, first revealed by assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Both Hillman and Schembri have denied the claims, saying the payments to offshore accounts owned by the former chief of Allied Newspapers were for “editorial services”.

Earlier this week The Shift revealed that a magisterial inquiry into the alleged kickbacks has been concluded and submitted to the Attorney General. They are expected to be charged with money laundering.

                           
                               
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Noel Ellul
Noel Ellul
8 months ago

Dr Hillman carried out a 12 month post doc at Harvard; and is currently currently carrying out a post doc at LSE. Give the lady her due – and if you can match her accreditations at 5 * Universities – then you would have won the right to blackball her. Otherwise shut up.

viv
viv
8 months ago
Reply to  Noel Ellul

For a suitable amount of Benjamins you, I or Joe Blow could attain similar pieces of paper. Not really achievements in themselves.

Noel Ellul
Noel Ellul
8 months ago
Reply to  viv

Viv
I challenge you to do so – obtain post doc 12 months assignments at Harvard and LSE and accompanying pieces of paper you call them. Come on – stand up and be counted.

Andrew Galea
8 months ago
Reply to  Noel Ellul

stand up and be counted? What on earth do you mean?

Rachel
Rachel
8 months ago
Reply to  Noel Ellul

Her credentials are not being put under the spotlight – the article refers to them. However, do you not feel it is suspicious that a failing university appoints a person who is married to someone on the board of Trustees – and who had her own publication when her husband was MD at Allied newspapers? As for shutting up, hanini, you really a) need to expand your vocabulary and b) direct this ‘order’ – see what I did there? – to someone who might actually give you the satisfaction of acquiescence.

mrk
mrk
8 months ago
Reply to  Noel Ellul

When you have hundreds of thousands in kickbacks to fall back on you can finance and focus on your studies. When you work to make ends meet you focus on just that.

Stephanie Spiteri
Stephanie Spiteri
8 months ago
Reply to  Noel Ellul

Friends of friends. Are you a friend of friend too ?

Andrew Galea
8 months ago
Reply to  Noel Ellul

You’ve missed the point. Whether intentionally or otherwise is unclear. But it’s an absolutely ridiculous comment to make nonetheless. “She has qualifications, so she’s entitled to be the beneficiary of some nepotism”.

Mick
Mick
8 months ago

“was recruited as a senior researcher and appointed director at the university’s only institute – the Data, Media and Society Centre” Having recently qualified? Really I’m crying here as I type, hilarious. So fucking sad.

Anna Briffa
Anna Briffa
8 months ago

Incredible, but true. With her years of experience – barely two – I’m sure Mrs. Hillman is an asset for PR according to her husband. And all the secrecy..why that? What is it a University, or a secret service?

Julie Balzan
Julie Balzan
8 months ago
Reply to  Anna Briffa

HOW RIGHT YOU ARE ANNA.
KOLLOX BIL HABBI.
MAJITWEMNUX.

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