LuxLeaks "dropped the bomb" and provoked many indignant reactions all over the world.
By bringing the tax rulings issue to the worldwide governing authorities –notably the G20 Brisbane Summit and the European Commission– it fostered democratic discussions that will progressively lead to reinforce fiscal justice.
Antoine Deltour is the whistleblower behind the disclosure of many of the LuxLeaks documents.
After a long trial in Luxembourg, Antoine was finally aqcuitted and recognized as a whistleblower having acted for the public interest.
Having resigned from the auditing firm where he was employed, Antoine wants to leverage his professional experience and copies some training documents. He then comes across the tax rulings among the electronic records of his employer. Appalled by their content, he copies them as well.
For several months Antoine has kept the tax agreements until he is contacted by the french journalist Edouard Perrin. Antoine entrusts him with the documents in question.
An episode of the french TV newsmagazine "Cash Investigation" airs an episode titled "Tax Havens: the little screts of the big companies", based on the documents copied by Antoine.
Shortly after the broadcast, PricewaterhouseCoopers would file a complaint.
Some forty-odd international media companies, all of which are members of the l'International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ), disclose hundreds of tax agreements that have been arranged by Luxembourg tax authorities on behalf of dozens of multinational companies.
While he has never been directly in contact with the ICIJ, Antoine is pleased with the consequences of the consortium’s work, in agreement, for the most part, with his original convictions.
Antoine is charged by Luxembourg authorities. He faces a 5-year jail sentence and a fine of up to 1,250,000 €.
Antoine Deltour acted in a completely disinterested manner, without any malicious intent. His civic act falls within a wide movement in favor of more social justice.
Raphaël Halet, another ex-PwC employee, is charged over the leak of the second set of documents used in LuxLeaks. Halet is dismissed by PwC and compelled to remain silent until the trial.
Following the LuxLeaks scandal, the European Parliament decides to set up a special committee to look into tax rulings and other abusive tax practices. 188 MEP had originally petitioned for the creation of a committee of inquiry, which would have had extended power over a special committee.
The European Commission proposes a first package of transparency measures to fight corporate tax avoidance, including the automatic exchange of tax rulings between Member States. OECD Secretary General welcomes the package as “a revolutionary step towards international transparency on taxation”.
Additional measures are proposed in June 2015, then in January and April 2016.
French journalist Édouard Perrin is charged by Luxembourg over his alleged role in the second set of leaks, which is legally not related to Antoine. The indictment is criticised by many parties, some people see it as a direct threat against press freedom.
Antoine is awarded the European Citizen Prize 2015, by the European Parliament. The prize honours citizens for their contribution to European cooperation and the promotion of common values.
Antoine Deltour –together with whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Stéphanie Gibaud– is nominated for European Parliament's Sakharov Prize 2015. The prize will eventually be awarded to Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi.
European Union Ministers for Economy and Finance agree on the automatic exchange of tax rulings.
The legality of several tax rulings is disputed by the European Commission, on the basis that they violate the EU's state aid rules. The tax rulings of a Fiat subsidiary in Luxembourg are invalidated. Further enquiries about other companies are launched.
After height months of work, European parliament's Special Committee on Tax Rulings –created after the LuxLeaks– approves its final report. The report recommends measures to make corporate taxes in the EU fairer and more transparent, and promotes a better protection for whistleblowers.
On November 26, the Committee's mandate is renewed for another 6 months.
The three people charged in the Luxleaks affair –Antoine Deltour, Raphaël Halet, and Édouard Perrin– are on trial before the magistrates court of Luxembourg, during height half-day hearings from April 26 to May 11.
Antoine is sentenced to a 12-month suspended jail term, and a 1,500 € fine. Raphaël Halet, to 9-month and 1,000 €. Édouard Perrin is acquitted.
This judgement is absolutely unacceptable and incoherent; it utterly disregards the ECtHR jurisprudence. Antoine lodges an appeal.
The appeal of the entire case is tried during 5 half-day hearings from December 12, 2016, to January 9, 2017, by the appellate court of Luxembourg
The judges refuse acquittal and convict Deltour and Halet to reduced sentences. Journalist Édouard Perrin’s acquittal is confirmed.
Antoine challenges the legal arguments and the fact distortions used for his conviction. He announces his decision to appeal before the Luxembourg Court of Cassation. Raphael Halet also appeals.
Historical victory! The higher Court of appeal (“Cassation”) overturns the previous judgment and fully recognizes Antoine Deltour as a whistleblower.
A new Court of appeal must confirm the acquittal for blowing the whistle. A residual conviction for theft of innocuous training documents is however still possible.
The Court definitively acquits Antoine for blowing the whistle. He avoids any penalty for the copy of the other training documents.
The Annual General Meeting approves the dissolution of Antoine Deltour’s support committee.
Following his acquittal, Antoine Deltour’s judicial battle is now behind him.
The fight for tax justice and better protection of whistleblowers is unfortunatley not over… let’s carry on with other organizations!View the petition (closed)
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