This Thursday, 11 January, Antoine Deltour’s appeal will be ruled by the Luxembourg (revision) court. The LuxLeaks whistleblower had appealed against the scandalous decision of not having acted with honest intention.
Sven Giegold, spokesperson for economic and financial affairs for the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, comments the upcoming appeal decision:
“It is a farce that the Luxembourg Court of Appeal acquitted the whistleblower of betrayal of secrets in March 2017, but doubted his intentions. Although Antoine Deltour’s appeal only questions the interpretation of the Luxembourg Court, it is out of question that whistleblowers deserve acquittal and protection for their work for the common good. It is incomprehensible not to judge whistleblowers by the overwhelming public interest of their actions. Instead, the court demands pure intentions of whistleblowers when they blow the whistle, which is utterly inappropriate in view of the massive tax dumping scandal that has been uncovered. Whoever averts billions of euros in damage to the common good must not be punished, even if at the time of data collection there may have been other motives. It is a great merit of Deltour that he put to an end the systematic violation of European tax and competition law through tax rulings. The Luxembourg Court of Appeal hides behind the statement of applicable law of the European Court of Human Rights. Now it is time to honour the moral courage instead of doubting it.
The Deltour case is an example of why we need immediate effective protection for whistleblowers. To date, Luxembourg has not yet presented any kind of reform of their whistleblower protection law. In fact, government promises are stalled. There is still a lack of protection for whistleblowers from the private sector. A comprehensive whistleblower protection law is also overdue in Germany. At least, after years of pressure, the European Commission has announced to publish a draft proposal for next year. We will not rest until whistleblowers are effectively protected throughout Europe.“
The former employee of the auditing firm PwC Antoine Deltour, together with Raphaël Halet and the journalist Edouard Perrin discovered the so-called Luxleaks scandal in 2014. It was only when Luxembourg’s tax arrangements with hundreds of companies became known to the public that the European Commission and the Member States decided to finally relaunch the fight against tax dumping. The sentence against Deltour in 2016, was six months on probation and a fine of 1.000 euros. If the appeal to the Luxembourg Court fails, Deltour’s only option remains to take the case further to the European Court of Human Rights.
My testimony at the trial of Deltour: