Today, the Luxembourg Court of Appeal released its judgment on the second appeal trial for the whistleblower Antoine Deltour, which quashed the previous sentence of 6 months suspended prison and 1,500 euros fine.
This comes 8 years after Antoine Deltour came across the tax rulings among the electronic records of his employer, the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers; 6 years after a first French TV show investigated Luxembourg’s tax rulings and 4 years after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) disclosed the #LuxLeaks, based on a “confidential cache of secret tax agreements approved by Luxembourg authorities, that provide tax-relief for more than 350 companies around the world. These private deals are legal in Luxembourg”, as ICIJ recalls.
Deltour’s support committee states: “Today, the Court of Appeal has fully recognized Antoine Deltour as a whistleblower within the meaning of the European Court of Human Rights. Antoine is therefore fully acquitted on all charges concerning the copying and use of the LuxLeaks documents”.
Antoine Deltour has expressed his “immense gratitude to the many people and organizations who supported [him] in this ordeal. While [he has] been fortunate enough to have broad support, many less visible whistleblowers experience great difficulties”. A more protective legal framework is therefore essential. The draft European directive for the protection of whistleblowers is an encouraging signal!
The support committee continues: “Beyond his personal case, Antoine is aware that his trial has helped the European public debate on tax justice, whistleblowers’ protection and freedom of information to advance. In a context where tax evasion remains a scourge in Europe and worldwide, informing citizens is an essential prerequisite for real change. Antoine Deltour wishes “a happy outcome for the two co-defendants in the LuxLeaks case, Édouard Perrin and Raphaël Halet, whose judicial journey is not over”.
As a matter of fact, Raphaël Halet is looking forward to defending his case to the European Court of Human Rights, and to be recognized as a whistleblower as well.