LuxLeaks trial:
sixth hearing

PwC's lawyer’s pleading

PwC's lawyer, Mr. Hansen, challenged Antoine and Raphael Halet’s sincerity as regards their defense of the general interest and their whistleblower’ status. At the time of the reproached facts, they were just employees who would have stolen documents, against the terms of their job contracts; their whistleblowers’ status would only be an “ex post facto invention made up in view of their defense needs”! For the lawyer, this strategy was effective for the press but should not be in the court.

Mr. Hansen also believes that Antoine did not only copy innocuous training materials but wanted to plunder the “know how” of the company, which has a high commercial value.

The civil party asks for the condemnation of the defendants: without seeking to reduce the harm, that would be very important, the required financial damages are only set at a symbolic euro, independently from the criminal fine and court costs.

PwC's lawyers, at their table in court
The laywers of the plaintiff (PwC)
© Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour – CC BY-SA 4.0

Raphael Halet’s lawyers’ pleadings

Ms Nalepa mainly focused its argument on the case law of the European Convention on Human Rights which provides a protective environment for whistleblowers defending the general interest. Indeed, in this case, “the general interest is self-evident”. Therefore, the European Union law and the European Convention on Human Rights have a supra-constitutional value that overrides the Luxembourg Criminal Code.

Mr Colin, very incisive, attacked PwC position. Based on the fact that PwC has hidden to the justice certain elements of the case, Mr Colin believes that the company sees itself as above the State. Moreover, according to the lawyer, “trade secrets are one thing, secrets about tax schemes allowing multinationals to practice tax evasion are another one”.

Mr Colin asked for a general acquittal of the three accused ones: “convicting them would send a signal to everyone that business continues as before… and it would induce a 10-year delay in the European construction”. His pleading received sustained applause from the audience.

The courthouse room was crowded, with many supporters!
Crowded room in the courthouse
© Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour – CC BY-SA 4.0

Édouard Perrin’s lawyer’s pleading

For Mr Chappuis, Édouard Perrin’s indictment is “based on a misunderstanding”: The investigating judge did not receive in due time the key elements for the investigation; PwC did not send to the court the documents exonerating the journalist. Édouard Perrin’s lawyer asked: “What is the most important thing? PwC commercial interest or the right to information of 500 million Europeans? (…) If Edward Perrin is convicted, this would be a violation of journalists’ freedom of expression”.

The next hearing will take place on Tuesday, May 10th, with the pleading of Édouard Perrin’s second lawyer as well Antoine’s ones. A final hearing is planned to take place on Wednesday, May 11th, with the Prosecutor’s final speech.

Members of the support commitee behind a sign: “200,000 signatories say THANKS to Antoine”
Nearly 200,000 signatories!
© Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour – CC BY-SA 4.0

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