Luxembourg overturns LuxLeaks whistleblower guilty verdict

Luxembourg’s highest court has overturned the guilty verdict against LuxLeaks whistleblower Antoine Deltour.

Luxembourg's highest court has overturned the verdict ggainst LuxLeaks whistleblower Antoine Deltour | Photo credit: Press Association

By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

11 Jan 2018

On Thursday, Luxembourg's highest court overturned the sentence against the whistleblower who was convicted of leaking thousands of documents that revealed tax breaks for multinational firms. His case will now go to appeal.

Parliament’s Greens/EFA group transparency spokesperson Benedek Jávor immediately welcomed the verdict, saying, “We are delighted that the court has overturned the verdict against Antoine Deltour.

“His brave action, and that of Raphael Halet who sadly lost his appeal today, was vital in bringing this tax scandal to public attention. No one should face prosecution for whistleblowing. We need horizontal protection at EU level to make sure that future whistleblowers, who are serving a vital public interest, don’t face the same ordeal.


“The Greens/EFA group will offer our full support to Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet as they continue to fight for justice.”

The Luxembourg court rejected the verdict against Deltour, a former PricewaterhouseCoopers employee, who in March had received a reduced six-month suspended jail sentence with a €1500 fine in the LuxLeaks scandal.

Nearly 30,000 documents revealed in leaks exposed deals struck between Luxembourg and a long list of multinationals, including Amazon, Apple, IKEA and Pepsi.

According to the Twitter account Deltour said his satisfaction with the ruling was dampened by the court's decision to uphold a lighter sentence of a €1000 fine against his colleague Raphael Halet.

An appeal court will hold a new trial with new judges for Deltour.

The 2014 LuxLeaks scandal set off a global push against deals offered to multinational companies. Later disclosures from the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers leaks exposed additional cases of personal and corporate tax evasion and avoidance.

Many of the deals came about while Luxembourg was under the leadership of then-Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who is now President of the European Commission.

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