The murdered Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and LuxLeaks whistleblower Raphaël Halet have been named the first recipients of the inaugural award for ‘Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information’, by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) in the EU Parliament.
Named in honour of the late Maltese journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, the two have been jointly awarded for their work and their courage in exposing corruption and wrongdoing by the powerful.
Kuciak has been posthumously recognised for his investigative work into tax fraud amongst businessmen with links to top Slovak politicians. His murder in February 2018 led to the toppling of the Fico government.
Halet, meanwhile, is the former PwC employee behind LuxLeaks alongside Antoine Deltour. Halet helped to leak the documents that exposed multinatioals’ tax evasion in Luxembourg. He remains on trial for the exposé.
This year’s award is named in honour of the late Maltese journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, and her sisters and son, Matthew, joined MEPs and invited guests to mark the occasion. The winners will receive 5000 euros for their work.
The other nominees were:
– Gjorgji Lazarevski and Zvonko Kostovski
Two intelligence officers whose revelations about wiretapping of over 20,000 political opponents by ex-FYROM PM Nikola Gruevski’s government led to the cabinet’s resignation.
– Julian Assange
Founder of WikiLeaks who has been holed up inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 to avoid probable extradition to the US.
– Maria Efimova
Former Pilatus Bank employee-turned-whistleblower exposed corruption relating to the Azeri and Maltese leaderships. Currently in Greece but wanted by Cypriot and Maltese authorities.