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The Guardian Award for ‘fight against fraud’ goes to Daphne Caruana Galizia

Matthew Caruana Galizia says Guardian Award recognises his mother’s work and the legacy of journalists fighting fraud.

A protester holds up a photo of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Photo: Robert Agius.

Murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has been awarded the Guardian Award from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners in the US.

The award is given to journalists whose determination, perseverance and commitment to the truth contributed significantly to the fight against fraud.

Daphne’s son, Matthew Caruana Galizia accepted the posthumous award on her behalf. “The Guardian Award recognises my mother’s work, not just as a personal achievement, but as a legacy that belongs to all journalists, all people who fight fraud, to all people who protest corruption all over the world,” he said during the conference.

“My mother herself is now beyond all harm, but the Guardian Award honours her life’s work. In doing so, it helps to protect this legacy.”

During his virtual intervention, Caruana Galizia gave a detailed account of the corruption of Malta’s ruling elite and how his mother’s pursuit of the truth led to her murder.

“Exactly four years ago, I was in the middle of a tsunami of press reports that were hitting the world,” Matthew said.

The tsunami Caruana Galizia referred to was the Panama Papers. When the massive cache of documents was leaked to a German newspaper, he was working with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) as a software engineer.

The documents revealed massive flows of dirty money between tycoons, government officials, politicians and criminals. On the other side of the world, in their family home in Malta, his mother was working on a related investigation.

“We were like two people on opposite sides of the Atlantic, digging a tunnel from these opposite ends, then meeting in the middle, each surprised,” he said.

The journalist told the conference how his family realised that killing his mother was the first step towards making her disappear.  “They knew the next steps would be to kill her legacy, to turn people against her, and to harass and intimidate anyone who tried to commemorate her, or fight for justice for her assassination and for investigations into the crimes she exposed.”

This is just one of the many awards received by Daphne Caruana Galizia following her brutal assassination by a car bomb in October 2017. The journalist won the Swedish National Press Club Freedom of Speech award in 2018. That same year, she was awarded Transparency International’s 2018 Anti-Corruption award.

The Association of German Magazine Publishers also honoured the Maltese journalist, together with and Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak posthumously with a Golden Victoria Award for press freedom, among a long list of prestigious prizes received in recognition of her work.

This latest award by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners rewards is “for vigilance in fraud reporting”.

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