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Caruana Galizia's stories to be continued as international media houses study 750,000 files

Consortium will start publishing stories on Tuesday

A consortium of 45 journalists from 18 news organisations, including Times of Malta, have united in a unique collaboration to continue slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia's most important stories.

The journalists have for the past five months pored over 750,000 files and official documents to complete Ms Caruana Galizia's work on corruption and international money laundering networks.

This project was coordinated by Forbidden Stories, an investigative non-profit organisation devoted to completing the work of jailed and murdered journalists.

The media houses, which include The New York Times, Reuters, The Guardian, and Süddeutsche Zeitung, the newspaper behind the Panama Papers, will start publishing revelations from the collaboration on Tuesday.

Ms Caruana Galizia, who was killed by a car bomb outside her home on October 16, was at the forefront of some of the bigger stories in recent years, including the Panama Papers.

Ms Caruana Galizia had put the spotlight on Pilatus Bank, when former bank employee, Maria Efimova, approached her with information she said had linked the Prime Minister's wife to the secret Panama company Egrant.

Egrant was one of three Panama companies acquired by audit firm Nexia BT from the now defunct Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, soon after the March 2013 election.

The other two companies, Tillgate and Hearnville, were owned by the Prime Minister's chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi.

Her story last April about an alleged $1 million kickback to Egrant from Azerbaijan's ruling family led Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to request a magisterial inquiry to investigate the claims.

The inquiry is still ongoing.

Dr Muscat, who vehemently denies the allegations, called an early election 10 days after being faced with the Egrant story.

Pilatus Bank's owner Ali Sadr, who was famously filmed slipping out of the bank with two luggage bags on the night of the Egrant allegations, is meanwhile facing up to 125 years imprisonment following his arrest in the US on sanction-busting and money-laundering charges.

Forbidden Stories is the brainchild of French journalist Laurent Richard, who covered the Iraq war, among others.  

"For over 15 years, I have been producing long-term investigations. I have reported from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other places where there is no freedom of the press," Mr Richard said.

"I believe that when a journalist is willing to risk his life for one story, and the free flow of information, other journalists committed to the same ideals need to help that work reach the public."

Vigils in a number of European cities will be held on Monday to mark the six months since the death of Ms Caruana Galizia.

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