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LuxLeaks appeal: Heroes are made criminals


This Wednesday, the court in Luxembourg announced its final verdict in the trial against the whistleblower Antoine Deltour and the co-defendants Raphael Halet and Edouard Perrin. In June 2016, the journalist Edouard Perrin was released from all charges against him whereas Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet were given suspended sentence and a financial penalty respectively. Both whistleblowers appealed against the verdict. The Luxembourg Public Prosecutor’s Office filed an appeal against Perrin, so that he also had to appear in court. Today, Antoine Deltour has been sentenced to six months on probation and 1,500 Euros fine while Raphael Halet has received a 1,000 Euros fine.

The former employee of the auditing firm PwC Antoine Deltour together with Raphael Halet and the journalist Edouard Perrin had revealed the so-called Luxleaks scandal. It was only this scandal about Luxembourg’s secret tax deals with hundreds of companies that prompted the European Commission and Member States to finally address tax evasion.

The appeal decision shows once again the urgently we need an EU-wide protection for Whistleblowers, Sven Giegold, the financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, says:

„The verdict confuses justice with injustice by reducing heros to criminals. Whistleblowers that act in the public interest should be protected, not prosecuted. People acting for the common good must be able to rely on the protection of society. The Luxembourg Court made an example of them which will contribute to silence future whistleblowers. Ultimately, only European Courts may be able to appeal against this verdict and bring justice to Deltour and Halet.

“The fate of people who make scandals public cannot be dependent on the legal situation in the individual EU Member States. Whistleblowers do not belong in court. It is unacceptable that whistleblowers are prosecuted under criminal or civil law and are punished for their courage. We need EU-wide protection for whistleblowers. Scandals like Luxleaks or Panama Papers show how important it is to protect people who dare to publicize scandals that harm society.

“Once finished, the European Commission’s current consultation on a possible legislation to protect whistleblowers in Europe must be followed by action. According to today’s verdict, we expect a corresponding directive to protect those who make abuses public.“

 

The link to the EU consultation for the protection of whistleblowers can be found here:

https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/d20e80a1-fa7d-41a4-9f9e-2725261636b8?draftid=e4ca829c-651a-4b8d-aa8e-b99ebb93b34c&surveylanguage=EN

 

Our proposal for a directive on the protection of whistleblowers can be found here:

http://www.greens-efa.eu/en/article/whistle-blowers-directive/

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