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Matt Carthy MEP welcomes prize for slain journalist and LuxLeaks whistleblower

31 May, 2018 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has welcomed the awarding of a prize by GUE/NGL to Jan Kuciak (posthumously) and Raphael Halet in the political group's inaugural award for ‘Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information’. Jan Kuciak is the Slovakian journalist who was murdered earlier this year, and Raphael Halet is one of the LuxLeaks whistleblowers. The prize is dedicated to murdered Maltese journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, and was awarded in Strasbourg this week.


Carthy said: "I am delighted to be part of the political group that is presenting this award for defenders of the right to information to such worthy individuals. A high-profile jury that includes world-renowned journalists and whistleblowers chose the recipients of the award, which is rightly dedicated to the memory of slain Maltese anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Last year the Panama Papers inquiry committee met with Daphne in a fact-finding mission to Malta. Daphne's son Matthew was part of the jury for this prize, and her sister Corrine was with us in Strasbourg for the award ceremony. 


"Many of us involved in combating financial crime and corruption have been deeply shocked by the fact that within the EU, two journalists investigating corruption have been assassinated in the past year. With this prize we want to raise the profile of the need for effective and comprehensive protections across Europe for journalists and whistleblowers.


"On 25 February this year, journalist Jan Kuciak and his partner Martina Kusnirova, both 27, were shot dead in their home in Slovakia. Jan Kuciak had been investigating tax fraud and financial by politicians in Slovakia and the murders led to the toppling of the government. It is heartening to see this recognition of Jan's investigative journalism work and the legacy of these two young people here in the European Parliament. 


"Raphael Halet is the former PwC employee behind LuxLeaks, alongside fellow whistleblower Antoine Deltour. Halet helped to leak the documents that exposed multinationals’ sweetheart deals with tax authorities in Luxembourg, making a huge contribution to the fight for justice, and prompting the wave of reform on tax transparency in recent years. He remains on trial for the exposé.


"Both recipients have made an enormous contribution to the fight for transparency, truth-telling and the right of the public to access information. I'm glad the work of people such as this is being recognised by my group in this way here in the European Parliament." ENDS


Note to editors: 


In addition to a selection of GUE/NGL MEPs, the jury awarding the prize also included Matthew Caruana Galizia (ICIJ journalist and son of murdered Maltese report Daphne Caruana Galizia); exiled Turkish journalist Can Dündar; Stephanie Gibaut (UBS Whistleblower); Frederik Obermaier (Süddeutsche Zeitung) and Juliette Garside (The Guardian).

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