The Daphne Project

Credit: Forbidden Stories, OCCRP Published: April 17, 2018

In October 2017, Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was brutally killed by a car bomb just meters from her home. The investigation into her killing is ongoing, but there is little doubt that she was murdered because of her work. With a brazen, unapologetic and uncompromising style, she denounced corruption, nepotism, clientelism, and all kinds of criminal behaviors in her tiny EU member state.

A group of 45 journalists representing 18 news organizations from 15 countries picked up Daphne’s work after it was abruptly halted by her gruesome death on the doorstep of Europe. They spent months poring over her findings, gathering documents, and talking to sources, to try to get to the bottom of the many leads the formidable woman left behind. They managed to uncover startling new information about corruption that ultimately brought down the Maltese government — and they're still digging.

The Daphne Project was coordinated and led by Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based organization established specifically to continue the work of killed, imprisoned, or otherwise incapacitated journalists.

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) facilitated the sharing of documents and information across the participating organizations and assigned researchers and reporters to investigate the many allegations about wrongdoing among Malta’s elite.

The sun was shining on the day assassins took Daphne’s life. Now her colleagues will shine many lights onto the stories that killed her.


Five Years After Daphne Caruana Galizia’s Murder, The Battle Against Impunity in Malta Continues

The murdered journalist’s family has braved harassment, government resistance, and a longstanding culture of impunity. But “there is no time to grieve,” her sister says.

16 October 2022 Read the article

Trail of Murdered Journalist’s Reporting Leads from Malta to China

Daphne Caruana Galizia’s work uncovering corruption in Malta delved into visa-for-sale schemes, energy deals, and Caribbean offshore companies set up for Maltese politicians. Now, an investigation has found that all these stories come together — in China.

29 March 2021 Read the article

‘You Don’t Kill a Story by Killing a Journalist’

Three years ago today, Corinne Vella received a call that would forever change her family, her life, and even her homeland, the small Mediterranean island of Malta.

16 October 2020 Read the article

Mystery Company Named by Murdered Maltese Journalist Linked to Power Station Developer

Documents obtained by Reuters and the Daphne Project show two Panamanian companies owned by two Maltese politicians – one the Energy Minister and one the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff -- expected to get payments from an offshore company connected to the man who won a key government concession to build a large power plant.

9 November 2018 Read the article

The Passport King who Markets Citizenship for Cash

How a small firm of wealth advisers built up a $3 billion “golden passports” industry and gained influence in the Caribbean.

17 October 2018 Read the article

“Golden Passports” Threaten European Security, Warns EU Commissioner

“Citizenship for sale” has come under increasing scrutiny from governments and security agencies.

17 October 2018 Read the article

Malta, A Modern Smugglers’ Hideout

Malta’s smugglers are creative in plying their trade, and international authorities are working hard to keep up. The ports of Valletta provide them with an ideal base – one shared with the accused murderers of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

10 October 2018 Read the article

How Maltese Online Gambling Became an ATM for the Italian Mafia

Online gambling is huge in Malta — but it's not all fun and games. Here's how the island's internet casinos have become cash machines for the Italian mafia.

10 May 2018 Read the article

Death in a Smugglers’ Paradise

How two unlikely business partners — a beloved Maltese footballer and a Libyan militia chief— enlisted help from a man connected to the Sicilian mafia to develop a multi-million-euro fuel smuggling business in the Mediterranean.

3 May 2018 Read the article

Maltese Taxpayers Losing Out in Gas Deal with Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan's state energy company won an opaque contract to sell gas to Malta. Documents obtained by investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia before her death indicate that the island's taxpayers could be overpaying by tens of millions of dollars a year.

25 April 2018 Read the article

Pilatus: A Private Bank for Azerbaijan’s Ruling Elite

Over the last three years, two top families in Azerbaijan’s ruling elite used dozens of secret accounts in Malta’s private Pilatus Bank to transfer cash into Europe and funnel millions of dollars into investments in luxury property, hotels, and businesses.

23 April 2018 Read the article

Murdered Maltese Journalist was Investigating Island’s Golden Visas

Before she was killed, Daphne Caruana Galizia was investigating Malta's citizenship for sale program. A new report indicates deep connections between profits from the passports and profits for the politicians.

18 April 2018 Read the article

Death of Journalist Still Echoes in Malta

The assassination six months ago of the Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia sent shockwaves around the world.

17 April 2018 Read the article


The Daphne Project Team

OCCRP: Drew Sullivan, Paul Radu, Anuška Delić, Jody McPhillips, Ilya Lozovsky, Friedrich Lindenberg, Miranda Patrucić, Khadija Ismayilova, Maxim Edwards, Sharon L. Lynch

Forbidden Stories: Laurent Richard, Jules Giraudat, Rémi Labed, Edouard Perrin, Bastian Obermayer

IRPI: Giulio Rubino, Cecilia Anesi, Lorenzo Bagnoli, Matteo Civillini

Süddeutsche Zeitung: Frederik Obermaier, Bastian Obermayer

La Reppublica: Carlo Bonini, Giuliano Foschini, Fabio Tonacci

Radio France: Sylvain Tronchet

The Guardian, Reuters, Premières Lignes Télévision / France 2, The Times of Malta, Die Zeit, Le Monde, The New York Times, WDR/NDR, Tages-Anzeiger, Freelance, Journalism School, Columbia University, Direkt 36

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