The Malta Independent 5 December 2020, Saturday

Daphne Caruana Galizia co-awarded Allard Prize for International Integrity

Thursday, 22 October 2020, 07:39 Last update: about 2 months ago

Danske Bank whistleblower, Howard Wilkinson and the late investigative journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, were jointly awarded the 2020 Allard Prize for International Integrity at a virtual ceremony held today. The $100,000 prize is one of the world’s largest awards recognizing leadership and courage in protecting human rights while promoting transparency and the Rule of Law and combatting corruption. As joint recipients, Ms. Caruana Galizia and Mr. Wilkinson were both awarded $50,000 prizes.

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Howard Wilkinson worked at Danske Bank in the Baltic Trading Unit when he discovered suspicious activity in bank records. Ultimately, he uncovered one of the largest money laundering schemes in history, worth over 200 billion Euros. The scandal led to several criminal charges across Europe, the resignation of Danske Bank’s CEO, and Danske Bank was forced to end operations in Estonia. Despite risks to Wilkinson’s safety, he used his platform to advocate for greater whistleblower protections before the European Parliament. "Whistleblowers play a very important role in exposing wrongdoing that is otherwise hard to detect. But all too often whistleblowers are made to suffer for what they have done,” said Mr. Wilkinson.

“I am honoured to receive the Allard Prize. It sends an important message that whistleblowing is important and that whistleblowers should be valued in building the sort of society we all want to live in." Daphne Caruana Galizia was a Maltese blogger and journalist; she investigated and uncovered rampant corruption and criminality in Malta’s ruling class.

One of her last investigations revealed that several high-ranking government officials owned secret shell companies in Panama; the officials also had ties to another offshore company whose owner had won a lucrative government contract. Caruana Galizia faced regular threats and acts of violence due to her work, but she refused to be silenced. She was assassinated on October 16th, 2017. Her family created the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation to continue her legacy and to support and protect investigative journalists.

“Receiving the Allard Prize for International Integrity on behalf of our wife and mother, Daphne Caruana Galizia is both humbling and encouraging,” said Daphne’s family. “It not only recognises her work in exposing corruption and defending the public’s right to know, it also recognises that Daphne should be celebrated for everyone’s sake, because her example of courage, integrity, and humour are so badly needed today and will be for many years to come. We hope that the honour itself will inspire those who have taken up Daphne’s work to never give up and that it will encourage others to take up the fight against corruption and abuse of power.”

“We are honoured to present the 2020 Allard Prize jointly to Daphne Caruana Galizia and Howard Wilkinson, in recognition of their leadership and commitment to protecting human rights and combatting corruption,” said Peter Allard. “Their stories of integrity and courage inspire all of us to effect positive change in pursuit of a more just and transparent world.” The other finalist, the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), received an Honourable Mention award. The Commission operated in Guatemala for 12 years and helped prosecute over 120 cases. CICIG also pursued critical reforms to improve accountability measures, strengthening citizens’ trust in domestic judicial institutions.

 

About the Allard Prize for International Integrity

Established in October 2012 and funded by Mr. Peter A. Allard, Q.C. through The Allard Prize Foundation, the Allard Prize for International Integrity is awarded to an individual, group or organization that has demonstrated exceptional leadership and courage in the protection of human rights, while upholding the Rule of Law, promoting transparency and/or preventing or combating corruption. The Allard Prize is administered by The Allard Prize Foundation and steered by the Allard Prize Committee, in consultation with the Allard Prize Advisory Board, composed of members of the anticorruption and human rights communities worldwide.

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