LuxLeaks trial:
second hearing

Change of atmosphere in the court on Wednesday, April 27 for the second hearing of the trial. Much fewer journalists… Antoine's lawyer, Maître William Bourdon, was not feeling well and did not attend. Let's hope for a prompt recovery!

Antoine Deltour and Philippe Penning before the hearing
Antoine Deltour and Philippe Penning
© Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour – CC BY-SA 4.0

Hearing of the Police investigator

Today’s court session began with the hearing of the Luxembourg police commissioner in charge of the investigation. His testimony confirmed Antoine’s statements: Antoine acted alone, without financial counterpart. Strangely, the police commissioner considers Antoine as an “anti-capitalist”; a statement based on irrefutable facts: a subscription to the Mediapart online newspaper, having received ecological newsletters and having posted Facebook comments dealing with tax justice!

Moreover, we learnt during the audience that almost the totality of the Luxembourg police investigation linked to the computer system was actually directly provided by PwC. Surprising methods!

Antoine, sitting at the defense desk
Antoine preparing his defense
© Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour – CC BY-SA 4.0

Antoine’s first defense witnesses

The President then called three witnesses testifying in favor of Antoine. The first one, the German MEP Fabio De Masi, took the floor as member of the Special TAXE Committee of the European Parliament. Despite a sometimes rough translation from German to French, he stressed the positive steps forward made possible by the LuxLeaks case, in particular an automatic exchange of tax rulings between EU Member States (an exchange of tax information was foreseen in a 1977 Directive, but this was never applied). He underlined the need for a better whistleblowers’ protection and stressed the general interest pursued through Antoine’s action.

The following witness, Benoît Majerus –professor at the University of Luxembourg- argued that very positive changes in minds have happened in Luxembourg –in political, administrative and business circles– after the LuxLeaks. He mentioned the need for transparency expressed by the population. His testimony was unfortunately cut short by the President who considered these personal assessments as little relevant.

German MEP Fabi De Masi chatting with Philippe Penning
Philippe Penning and Fabio De Masi
© Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour – CC BY-SA 4.0

This half-day hearing ended with Louise, Antoine’s partner, who portrayed him as a discreet, quiet, considerate and thoughtful person, longing for a peaceful life. Rather than anti-capitalist, Antoine is, according to her, “especially committed to the defense of individual freedom”.

The trial will resume this Thursday, April 28 at 9 am, for a third day-half which agenda remains rather vague due the lack of certitude on the availability of some witnesses.

Press coverage