LuxLeaks whistleblowers did the right thing and should not have been convicted

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Translations: FR


Transparency International, the global anti-corruption movement, condemns the guilty verdict and sentencing of Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet, the two whistleblowers who revealed secret tax rulings between the Luxembourg authorities and multinationals, known as “LuxLeaks”.

This trial was an appeal of the 29 June 2016 verdict that saw Deltour receive a 12 month suspended sentence and a fine of 1,500 euros, while Halet received a 9 month suspended sentence and a fine of 1,000 euros. Both Deltour and Halet as well as the Luxembourg Prosecutor appealed the sentencing.

The acquittal of Edouard Perrin, the journalist who first reported on LuxLeaks, has been confirmed, but he should never have been prosecuted in the first place.

The LuxLeaks disclosures brought the issue of corporate tax avoidance to public attention and led to greater tax transparency efforts by the Luxembourg government, the European Commission, the OECD and the G20.

“What Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet did by disclosing these million-dollar sweetheart tax deals – tax money that should have gone to help EU citizens – showed major courage. They acted in the public interest, and without whistleblowers like them, we would not see real effort to tackle tax dodging,” said Marie Terracol, Whistleblowing Programme Coordinator at Transparency International.

Whistleblowing is essential to help uncover and prevent wrongdoing. Yet, across the EU whistleblowers like Deltour and Halet often face retaliation due to inadequate whistleblower protection laws. Transparency International calls for EU-wide legislation on whistleblower protection

“Today’s verdict is extremely disappointing and shows the need for EU-wide whistleblower protection legislation in line with prevailing international standards. The EU needs to raise the bar and show that it is serious about protecting those who act in the public interest,” said Terracol.

Antoine Deltour was convicted and sentenced to 6 months suspended prison and 1,500 euros fine. Raphaël Halet was convicted and sentenced to 1,000 euros fine.

Note to editors: Interviews are available in English and French.


For any press enquiries please contact

Berlin:
Julie Anne Miranda-Brobeck
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Paris:
Nicole-Marie Meyer
Transparency International France
T:+33 1 84 16 95 65
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

Latest

Support Transparency International

Risk of impunity increases with outcome of Portuguese-Angolan corruption trial

A verdict last week by the Lisbon Court of Appeals in the trial of former Angolan vice president Manuel Vicente has disappointed hopes for a triumph of legal due process over politics and impunity. It also has worrying implications for the independence of Portugal’s judiciary.

The UK just made it harder for the corrupt to hide their wealth offshore

If counted together, the United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies would rank worst in the world for financial secrecy. Fortunately, this could soon change.

The new IMF anti-corruption framework: 3 things we’ll be looking for a year from now

Last Sunday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) unveiled its long-awaited framework for “enhanced” engagement with countries on corruption and governance issues. Here are three aspects we at Transparency International will be looking at closely in coming months as the new policy is rolled out.

While the G20 drags its feet, the corrupt continue to benefit from anonymous company ownership

The corrupt don’t like paper trails, they like secrecy. What better way to hide corrupt activity than with a secret company or trust as a front? You can anonymously open bank accounts, make transfers and launder dirty money. If the company is not registered in your name, it can't always be traced back to you.

Urging leaders to act against corruption in the Americas

The hot topic at the 2018 Summit of the Americas is how governments can combat corruption at the highest levels across North and South America.

The impact of land corruption on women: insights from Africa

As part of International Women’s Day, Transparency International is launching the Women, Land and Corruption resource book. This is a collection of unique articles and research findings that describe and analyse the prevalence of land corruption in Africa – and its disproportionate effect on women – presented together with innovative responses from organisations across the continent.

Passport dealers of Europe: navigating the Golden Visa market

Coast or mountains? Real estate or business investment? Want your money back in five years? If you're rich, there are an array of options for European ‘Golden Visas’ at your fingertips, each granting EU residence or citizenship rights.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media