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Next step in the Luxleaks trial to start

By Vincent Huck

The LuxLeaks trial before the Luxembourg Court of Cassation will be held tomorrow (Thursday 23 November 2017).

In June 2016 Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet, both ex-PwC accountants, have been found guilty of leaking documents in the Luxleaks trial and given a suspended prison sentence of 12 months and 9 months respectively.

In March of this year the Luxembourg Court of Appeal ruled to reduce Deltour’s suspended sentence from 12 to six month. The court acquitted the whistleblower of breaching professional confidentiality acknowledging that he did the right thing in providing the documents to journalists, a statement by the Antoine Deltour’s support committee explained, but the court convicted him for having copied the documents in the first place.

In Luxembourg, in order to qualify as a whistleblower, the intention to blow the whistle would need to be immediate.

This is inconsistent with the path followed by many of the most iconic whistleblowers, the support committee argued.

“Moreover, the Court of Appeal denied Deltour’s disinterestedness from the beginning of his action, despite material evidence showing that he was in favour of a public debate on tax rulings well before the facts he was indicted for took place,” the support committee’s statement continued. “The Court of Appeal thus established the implausible theory of a sudden reversal of Antoine Deltour’s motivations: he would be a potential whistleblower beforehand, a recognized whistleblower afterwards, but a mere self-interested thief on the day he copied the documents that gave rise to the LuxLeaks.”

The trial before the Luxembourg Court of Cassation is only one step further in the case as whatever the outcome there will either be a new appeal trial in Luxembourg or the case might be submitted to the European Court of Human Rights, the support committee noted.

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