A crook representing a government of crooks at a crooked university

2019-03-08T16:56:45+01:00Fri, 8th Mar '19, 16:56|0 Comments

Watch this Times of Malta video of their reporter Ivan Camilleri reminding Joseph Muscat why our Prime Minister avoids the press like the plague. Because at least some journalists are not numbed and desensitised by the perpetual state of heightened dismay we have all been under for over five years now.

In October 2017 the Sunday Times of Malta had reported the government “recommended” Adrian Hillman for the Board of Trustees at the self-described American University of Malta. Now it turns out he is actually the government’s representative at the AUM.

I had commented on that piece of news in a post I headlined “impunity in a mafia state, for so it is”. 

From that commentary: “Adrian Hillman is ‘alleged’ to be a link in the money laundering chain connecting the prime minister, his chief of staff Keith Schembri, his favourite minister Konrad Mizzi, his accountants Brian Tonna and Karl Cini of Nexia BT, and Malcolm Scerri, who is a partner in business with the Prime Minister’s chief of staff.

“‘Alleged’ because since the police failed to act on the published evidence, there could never be a conviction in a court of law.” 

“Published documentary evidence shows that Adrian Hillman, when Managing Director of Allied Newspapers and Progress Press, received payments from Keith Schembri. These payments are subject to a magisterial inquiry.”

Now in October 2017, I commented the “recommendation” to the AUM that Adrian Hillman sits on its Board of Trustees was an act of impunity. But nominating him as representative of the government is even worse than that.

It is an act of bullying directed at the Magistrate conducting the inquiry that Simon Busuttil requested (and that is still ongoing) into the PanamaPapers findings on the corrupt relationship between Keith Schembri and Adrian Hillman.

Look at Joseph Muscat speaking at Ivan Camilleri’s microphone. He is concluding the inquiry for the Magistrate and actually requiring his interlocutor to apologise to Adrian Hillman.

We are supposed to apologise to Adrian Hillman because the PanamaPapers found he received €650,000 of off-shore payments from Keith Schembri while working as Managing Director of the company that owns the Times of Malta.

But the Prime Minister is not bullying Ivan Camilleri there. Or me or you or anyone else except someone very specific the Prime Minister has in mind. He’s done it before on his own behalf when he warned Aaron Bugeja from TV that he would have to face consequences if the Egrant inquiry he was conducted was not to his liking.

Now he’s doing it on behalf of his friend Adrian Hillman, or rather his boss’s friend. He’s sending a very clear message to the inquiring Magistrate conducting an inquiry into the Hillman scandal that as far as he’s concerned the matter is closed and Adrian Hillman, irrespective of the evidence against him, is an appropriate representative of his government.

It is entirely appropriate that in a crooked project like the American University of Malta, our crooked prime minister is represented by a crook. Voltaire had famously said of the Holy Roman Empire it is neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. You could say the American University of Malta is neither American nor is it a University.

But alas it does belong to Malta as Malta itself belongs to this fraternal coven of bandits.