Good news in the #LuxLeaks trial

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Gatj

01/21/2018

As several NGOs and political parties in Europe are working on how to protect whistleblowers, good news came up, rare enough to celebrate: Luxembourg’s highest court overturned the sentence against Frenchman Antoine Deltour, a former PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) employee, who had leaked documents revealing Luxembourg tax breaks for multinational firms from 2002 to 2010.

https://twitter.com/PSIglobalunion?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E951381143693287424%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.globaltaxjustice.org%2Fen%2Flatest%2Fgood-news-luxleaks-trial

Late 2014, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and more than 30 media outlets around the world published the #LuxLeaks, stories that “revealed how secret agreements between Luxembourg authorities and some of the world’s biggest multinational corporations had allowed more than 370 companies – including Disney, IKEA, Pepsi and Deutsche Bank – to avoid billions of euros in taxes on profits they channeled through Luxembourg”:

https://twitter.com/ICIJorg?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E951589699193319424%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.globaltaxjustice.org%2Fen%2Flatest%2Fgood-news-luxleaks-trial

Between December 2014 and April 2015, three French people were indicted in Luxembourg in connection with LuxLeaks revelations:

– Antoine Deltour, who said that his motivation “was public good and not financial motivation. The files he copied were not protected, he did not hack any system. He said he did not attempt to hide what he was doing, but copied the files because he thought this type of data could document the tax ruling practice, which was widely unknown, especially in terms of scale”.

– Raphaël Halet, another former PwC employee who was charged after the leak of 16 tax returns of US companies. He was fired due to the leak but his identity was kept secret until the trial began, as Halet signed a secret agreement with PwC forcing him to silence.

– Journalist Edouard Perrin was indicted in Luxembourg for being the co-author or accomplice of the offences committed by Raphaël Halet.

On 29 June 2016 Antoine Deltour was sentenced to a suspended 12-month jail time and a 1,500 € fine; Raphaël Halet was sentenced to a suspended 9-month jail time and a 1,000 € fine; Edouard Perrin, the journalist who first released the revelations, was acquitted.

In July 2016, Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet both decided to appeal against their respective sentence.

The appeal trial took place in December 2016 and January 2017: it mainly focused on the European Court of Human Rights’ criteria used to recognize someone as a whistleblower.

Both Antoine Deltour’s and Raphaël Halet’s sentences were reduced as a result of their respective appeals. Deltour was given a 6-month suspended prison sentence and charged with a 1500 euro fine while Halet was given a 1000 euro fine. The journalist Edouard Perrin was acquitted.

https://twitter.com/support_antoine?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E951364924160249856%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.globaltaxjustice.org%2Fen%2Flatest%2Fgood-news-luxleaks-trial

This latest judgement grants Deltour the whistleblower’s status for leaking the tax deals documents, but not for leaking the documents of the PwC trainings on tax schemes. An appeal court will hold a new trial with new judges for this matter. But it gave a differentiated treatment to the case of Raphaël Halet, whose appeal in cassation has been dismissed and which is still not recognized as a genuine whistleblower. Antoine Deltour states that he feels “entirely in solidarity with Raphaël Halet”, who will now appeal at the European Court of Human Rights:

https://twitter.com/LuxLeaksRaphael?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E951379550851739648%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.globaltaxjustice.org%2Fen%2Flatest%2Fgood-news-luxleaks-trial

At the time of the #LuxLeaks release, the investigation led to calls for the resignation of then newly-elected European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who had previously served as Luxembourg’s prime minister at the time many of these tax rulings had been agreed to by Luxembourg authorities.

All documents of the #LuxLeaks case are available in a searchable database on ICIJ’s website.

As several NGOs and political parties in Europe are working on how to protect whistleblowers, good news came up, rare enough to celebrate: Luxembourg’s highest court overturned the sentence against Frenchman Antoine Deltour, a former PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) employee, who had leaked documents revealing Luxembourg tax breaks for multinational firms from 2002 to 2010.

Late 2014, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and more than 30 media outlets around the world published the #LuxLeaks, stories that “revealed how secret agreements between Luxembourg authorities and some of the world’s biggest multinational corporations had allowed more than 370 companies – including Disney, IKEA, Pepsi and Deutsche Bank – to avoid billions of euros in taxes on profits they channeled through Luxembourg”:

Between December 2014 and April 2015, three French people were indicted in Luxembourg in connection with LuxLeaks revelations:

– Antoine Deltour, who said that his motivation “was public good and not financial motivation. The files he copied were not protected, he did not hack any system. He said he did not attempt to hide what he was doing, but copied the files because he thought this type of data could document the tax ruling practice, which was widely unknown, especially in terms of scale”.

– Raphaël Halet, another former PwC employee who was charged after the leak of 16 tax returns of US companies. He was fired due to the leak but his identity was kept secret until the trial began, as Halet signed a secret agreement with PwC forcing him to silence.

– Journalist Edouard Perrin was indicted in Luxembourg for being the co-author or accomplice of the offences committed by Raphaël Halet.

On 29 June 2016 Antoine Deltour was sentenced to a suspended 12-month jail time and a 1,500 € fine; Raphaël Halet was sentenced to a suspended 9-month jail time and a 1,000 € fine; Edouard Perrin, the journalist who first released the revelations, was acquitted.

In July 2016, Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet both decided to appeal against their respective sentence.

The appeal trial took place in December 2016 and January 2017: it mainly focused on the European Court of Human Rights’ criteria used to recognize someone as a whistleblower.

Both Antoine Deltour’s and Raphaël Halet’s sentences were reduced as a result of their respective appeals. Deltour was given a 6-month suspended prison sentence and charged with a 1500 euro fine while Halet was given a 1000 euro fine. The journalist Edouard Perrin was acquitted.

This latest judgement grants Deltour the whistleblower’s status for leaking the tax deals documents, but not for leaking the documents of the PwC trainings on tax schemes. An appeal court will hold a new trial with new judges for this matter. But it gave a differentiated treatment to the case of Raphaël Halet, whose appeal in cassation has been dismissed and which is still not recognized as a genuine whistleblower. Antoine Deltour states that he feels “entirely in solidarity with Raphaël Halet”, who will now appeal at the European Court of Human Rights:

At the time of the #LuxLeaks release, the investigation led to calls for the resignation of then newly-elected European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who had previously served as Luxembourg’s prime minister at the time many of these tax rulings had been agreed to by Luxembourg authorities.

All documents of the #LuxLeaks case are available in a searchable database on ICIJ’s website.

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