On 12 December, former PwC employees Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet, and journalist Edouard Perrin, will return to court after the verdicts of their initial trial earlier this year were appealed.
Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet exposed hundreds of secret Luxembourg tax rulings – also known as ‘sweetheart deals’ – which were brokered by PwC and allowed corporations to avoid taxes to the tune of billions of euros.
Edouard Perrin, who received the leaked documents from Deltour, first broke the story with two documentaries for state-owned France 2 TV channel in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, he worked with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on the Luxembourg Leaks investigation, which involved an international network of journalists, newspapers and other global news outlets across 26 countries, including The Guardian, Le Monde, Süddeutsche Zeitung and The Irish Times.
In total, the revelations – which became known as LuxLeaks – brought to light the secret tax arrangements of 340 corporations, which enabled them to lower their tax payments, in some cases to less than 1%.
On 23 June 2016, a court in Luxembourg sentenced Antoine Deltour to a 12 month suspended prison sentence and a €1500 fine, and Raphaël Halet to a nine month suspended prison sentence and a €1000 fine. Both have appealed their convictions. The journalist Edouard Perrin was acquitted but the decision was appealed by the public prosecutor of Luxembourg. At the start of the initial trial, prosecutors had asked for 18-month prison sentences for both whistleblowers and a fine for Perrin.
The three men obviously acted for the common good and they have received widespread support. Last September, 108 MEPs expressed their support and solidarity with Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet in an open letter. [source link:1]
During the appeal trial itself, NGO campaigners, grassroots activists and members of the public from 20 countries across Europe, together with the three men’s families and close friends will be supporting them.
The activists will be outside the court, holding up signs calling for governments to ‘Protect Whistleblowers – Not Multinationals’, and signs that say ‘thank you’ to the three men who exposed the truth about the scale of multinational tax dodging.
Whistleblowers like Mr Halet and Mr Deltour should be protected – not prosecuted, and they should be thanked rather than punished. The information revealed by the LuxLeaks scandal should never have been secret in the first place.
The issue of press freedom.
For his reporting on the LuxLeaks story, Edouard Perrin received the Louise Weiss Award for European Journalism in 2012, but, in Luxembourg, he is treated as a criminal. Premières Lignes, the production company for which he works said: “These investigations in the public interest in Europe are perfectly in accordance with the role of journalists as watchdogs of democracy as acknowledged by the European Court of Human Rights.” Edouard Perrin’s reporting was clearly in the public interest. It is disturbing that a European member state should bring charges against him for just doing his legitimate work as a journalist. For further information, please contact Attac via Claudine Gaidoni on 085 1012212 or at email@example.com