[WATCH] Robert Abela justifies Hillman contract termination: 'Decisions will be taken'

Prime Minster Robert Abela says termination of Adrian Hillman's MGA consultancy contract was a necessary move in the name of good governance

Prime Minister Robert Abela
Prime Minister Robert Abela

Robert Abela defended the decision to terminate Adrian Hillman's consultancy contract with the Malta Gaming Authority, insisting this was needed in the name of good governance. 

The Prime Minister said the decision went hand in hand with his stand of balancing good governance with continuity.

The termination of Hillman’s contract with the gaming authority was communicated on Friday morning by Parliamentary Secretary Clayton Bartolo.

"It [the termination] was a decision on which I was consulted and one which I and parliamentary secretary [Clayton Bartolo] felt had to be taken," Abela said as he fielded questions from journalists after meeting the Malta Developers’ Association on Friday.

Hillman was awarded a consultancy contract by the MGA to manage the authority’s reputation.

The former managing director at Allied Newspapers is himself the subject of inquiries that are probing claims of money laundering.

"Where shortcomings are identified, I will be the first to push for these to be addressed," Abela said.

Asked whether the move was an admission that Hillman should never have been given the MGA role, Abela said he could only comment about the present. "I will speak about today. I assumed my role a few days ago and decisions were taken immediately," he emphasised.

On Hillman’s role as government representative on the board of trustees of the American University of Malta, Abela said a decision had not yet been taken on the matter. 

He added, however, that "if there are decisions which still have to be taken, they will be. Every decision which we feel needs to be taken, will be taken."

In a statement released on Friday afternoon, Adrian Hillman said Bartolo's predecessor, Silvio Schembri, was aware of his role at the MGA and accused the parliamentary secretary of making libellous assertions in his regard.

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