The extradition of Adrian Hillman to Malta has been delayed after the UK authorities asked for further paperwork to justify the request made by the Maltese authorities. 

Sources have told Times of Malta that law enforcement officials from the UK’s National Crime Agency are reviewing the application to have the former Allied Group managing director brought back to face charges of money laundering and corruption in the private sector.

The request, designated as “high priority”, was sent more than four weeks ago but the UK feels it needs further documentation on the case against Hillman before taking steps against him.  

Before Brexit, the United Kingdom was party to the European Arrest Warrant system which streamlined the process to extradite suspects of crime.

Malta’s request is now being processed through a new UK-EU surrender agreement.

Part of the delay is because Malta used the same template from the old European Arrest Warrant system to make its request to transfer Hillman to the island.

It is understood that Hillman has been contacted by the police in the UK to ascertain his location but has not been informed whether he will be extradited to Malta or not at this point. He has not responded to requests for a comment by Times of Malta.

Earlier this month, Times of Malta reported that the process to bring Hillman to Malta to face criminal charges could be long as the UK’s departure from the EU has complicated matters.

Hillman has been residing in the south-east London suburb of New Cross for a number of years with his family and is pursuing studies at Goldsmiths University of London.

Police sources say they plan to press criminal charges against him that were prompted by a magisterial inquiry into the purchase of three multi-million-euro printing machines by Progress Press from Keith Schembri’s company Kasco Ltd a decade ago. 

Malta used the same template from the old European Arrest Warrant system

Schembri, together with his business associates, financial advisers Nexia BT and Zenith Finance, formerly MFSP, are all facing a slew of criminal charges

Vincent Buhagiar, who was chairman of Progress Press at the time of the major printing investment, has also been charged with having received backhanders from Schembri and laundering those illicit funds.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have said in court that investigations in the case are still ongoing and more parties could face criminal charges.

According to a leaked Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit report, Schembri allegedly filtered over €650,000 to Hillman in over 30 “suspicious transactions” bet-ween 2011 and 2015.

Cash deposits

Hillman was also found to have deposited €225,000 in cash into his HSBC account bet-ween January 2011 and February 2016.

The allegations of financial crime surrounding the two were first reported by Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2016.

Hillman went on garden leave from Allied Newspapers and the company severed all ties with him shortly afterwards.

In May 2017, Simon Busuttil presented then magistrate, now judge, Aaron Bugeja with documents on suspicious transactions from Schembri to Hillman, who at the time was at the helm of the company that publishes Times of Malta.

Allied Group has said it has no knowledge of the payments allegedly paid to its former managing director.

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