AGM 2018:
after the victory, the ending of the support committee

On June 15, 2018, the Annual General Meeting of the Support Committee was held in Epinal (Centre Léo Lagrange) in front of about fifty people, many of whom had already attended previous meetings. A live webcast was also available.

Antoine, standing at the side of members, clapping
© Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour – CC BY-SA 4.0

A double assessment of the actions carried out

The General Meeting was an opportunity to make a double assessment: an assessment of the past year achievements but, above all, an assessment of the actions carried out since the set up of the association in February 2015.

When looking at all the actions carried out since the creation of the association, some figures speak for themselves: 19 trips to Luxembourg to provide moral support for the defendants in the LuxLeaks trial (including 12 bus trips, rented by the association); 19 court reports and verdicts published on our website; 15 press releases; 11 information letters, each sent to more than 70,000 recipients; communications systematically published in French and English; numerous interviews given to the press; 25 meetings of the association's board; thousands of emails exchanged internally; a great activity on social networks… the Support Committee was very busy!

These actions have been fruitful in terms of support given to Antoine: to date, more than 215,000 signatories of the petition; support from 71 civil society organizations and 477 public figures; success of the donation campaign with more than 2,500 donors and numerous sales of T-shirts and cups.

The financial statement for the past year is marked by a reduction in revenues (notably donations) compared to the previous year, while expenses continued to be high due to the payment of Antoine's lawyers for the appeal in cassation. The resulting negative result is largely offset by the cash accumulated over the past two years. In three years of existence, the cumulative income is around 90 000 €. The largest share of the expenditure covered legal costs. The remaining cash amounts to approximately €30,000 (which would have been used if the legal battle had to continue).

A detailed financial statement can be sent to anyone who requests it ([email protected]).

François Thiery presents the assessment of the Comité de soutien, Antoine stands at his side
François Thiery and Antoine Deltour
Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour – CC BY-SA 4.0

After the victory, dissolution of the support committee

The ordinary general meeting was immediately followed by an extraordinary general meeting aimed at dissolving the association, since its main objective of helping Antoine and financing his defence had been achieved.

The participants voted unanimously in favour of the proposal, enshrined in the association's statutes, to redistribute the remaining assets of the Support Committee to several organisations working for fiscal justice and whistleblowers’ protection, in France and throughout the world. In particular, a donation is made to the Luxembourg Solidarity Committee for LuxLeaks defendants, with the objective to help funding Raphaël Halet's defence in the event of his continuing legal battle before the European Court of Human Rights.

The support committee Association's Board will now act as a care-taker until December 31st and will organise the redistribution of the 30,000 € according to the indications validated at the Extraordinary General Assembly.

Panel discussion to update on whistleblowers’ situation

The evening continued with a panel discussion in which three guests discussed the situation of whistleblowers and the right to inform: Édouard Perrin (journalist, co-invicted in the LuxLeaks trial, president of the collective "Informer n'est pas un délit"), Glen Millot (Sciences Citoyennes association, leading the creation of the Whistleblowers' House) and Karim Ben Ali (whistleblower of ArcelorMittal illegal spills of acid in Florange, France).

The three guests, with their specific experiences and commitments, all agreed that being a whistleblower is tough despite, in France, the recent implementation of a law which is supposed to protect them. From a legislative point of view, the good news about the start of the process for a whistleblowers’ directive at the European level is counterbalanced by the transposition of the trade secret directive into French law.

It is especially on a day-to-day basis that the situation of whistleblowers remains worrying, in front of judicial, economic or even social reprisals. Karim Ben Ali's testimony was striking, he summed up the situation as follows: "What is a whistleblower? it's above all a big nightmare…". This is why the future whistleblower's house, the creation of which is supported among others by the Sciences Citoyennes association, is important. And hence the choice of Antoine Support Committee to transfer a part of its residual funds to contribute to setting up this whistleblowers' house. We hope that this project will be completed by the end of the year!

The fours participants of the discusssion panel, sitting
Glen Millot, Karim Ben Ali, Antoine Deltour, and François Thiery
©Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour – CC BY-SA 4.0

Thanks to all Antoine's supporters

Antoine took the opportunity of the General Assembly to renew his thanks to all the people who, in one way or another, have supported him for more than three years:

I find it wonderful that my action has spawned a collective momentum. Without this huge surge of solidarity, I wouldn’t have emerged unscathed from this long legal battle. I’m immensely grateful to all those who were right to believe in it!

The dissolution of the Support Committee marks the end of a fight, that of Antoine Deltour to obtain an acquittal during the LuxLeaks trial. But the struggle is not over! Antoine and the members of the Support Committee called on everyone to continue the mobilisation for tax justice, and so that all of us, potential whistleblowers, can continue to defend the public interest.

Patchwork of pictures shot during the various mobilization events, with a legend saying “Success of the mobilisation, a big THANKS to you all!”
the Support Committee was very busy!
©Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour – CC BY-SA 4.0

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