Newsletter #12

LuxLeaks case and acquittal of Antoine Deltour: thanks again to you all!

Last May, the Luxembourg courts definitively acquitted Antoine Deltour for the disclosure of the documents that led to the LuxLeaks.

In this final newsletter, the support committee wants to pay tribute to the exemplary mobilization that, since 2014, has contributed to this result: victory for Antoine, victory for the public interest! The committee will be dissolved by the end of 2018.

Octobre 26th, 2018

In this newsletter:

Antoine and the LuxLeaks: the main dates

Oct 2010

Antoine, who resigned from his position in Luxembourg, copies the tax documents (tax rulings) and passes them to the journalist Édouard Perrin a few months later.

May 2012

First Cash Investigation program on French TV: PwC Luxembourg files a complaint.

Nov 2014

the press publishes the LuxLeaks worlwide, which highlight tax evasion by multinationals, organised with the support of Luxembourg’s audit firms and tax authorities.

Dec 2014

Indictment of Antoine by the Luxembourg court.

Feb 2015

Antoine’s support group is registered as a non-profit association (under French low 1901).

Apr 2016

First LuxLeaks trial, resulting in a conviction.

March 2017

The sentence is confirmed in appeal.

Janv 2018

Victory in higher appeal: Antoine is fully recognized as a whistleblower.

May 2018

Antoine is definitively acquitted.

Thank you for this collective victory!

Antoine's perseverance, determination and calm paid off. But this happy end was only possible thanks to the 215,000 signatories of the petition and 2,500 donors, the commitment of 71 civil society organizations and 477 public figures, wonderful lawyers, witnesses who came to support Antoine in the courtroom and relatives who were always present… and thanks to all the active and over-active members of the support committee, who organised the collective trips to Luxembourg, collected resources to finance Antoine's defence, solicited personalities, drafted numerous press releases and newsletters, organised support on the internet and social networks…

Patchwork of pictures of people supporting Antoine

It took all this, just to have my simple right of expression as a citizen to be respected. Many thanks again to all of you! This legal battle has shown that collective mobilization can lead to victory!

Antoine Deltour

LuxLeaks, a few steps forward…

… in the fight against tax evasion

The LuxLeaks in 2014, followed by other revelations, have made a difference in the fight against tax evasion. These repeated scandals, revealed by collaborative investigations of journalists, have contributed to increasing collective awareness. Progress was made: in Europe, the obligation to automatically exchange information on tax rulings came into force at the beginning of 2017; similarly, 70 OECD countries signed the BEPS Convention in June 2017, which allows for a multilateral revision of tax treaties. However, the abusive practices reported in LuxLeaks have not disappeared, neither in Luxembourg nor in other European countries. But some of these tax agreements have been found illegal by the European Commission.

A whistleblower shielding himself with a european flag

… towards whistleblowers’ protection

Since the LuxLeaks, the protection of whistleblowers has improved. In France, a new law with alert reporting obligations came into force at the beginning of 2018. At the same time, several non-profit organizations are setting up a ”house of whistleblowers” which should soon be up and running. At the European level, a draft directive on the protection of whistleblowers was presented in spring 2018 and should lead to the adoption of a directive in early 2019. Let’s hope that it will allow to counterbalance the laws in favour of trade secrets currently in force…

Democracy demands information. I still believe I acted in the public interest.

Antoine Deltour
quoted in an article on whistleblowers published in the Guardian on October 9, 2018.

François Hollande rewrites the story…

Dessin: Hollande devant une pile de livre disant “Merci pour ce moment” (Potus, pour le Canard Enchaîné)

In his memories book, former French president François Hollande has unduly claimed that he directly helped Antoine's professional reconversion. This is totally false since Antoine passed in 2011 an exam to enter the French administration, and thereafter took the position he continues to hold; this was therefore well before the LuxLeaks revelations broke out or François Hollande was elected President!

This shameful rewriting of history has only been rightly pinpointed in French satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné.

What next?

The end of the Support Committee

The General Assembly of 15 June 2018 approved the dissolution of the Support Committee, after more than three years of existence and many actions, and the achievement of its initial objectives. In conformity with the association's statutes, this special General Assembly has decided on the procedures for redistributing the remaining funds (which would have been used in the event of a continuation of the legal battle before the ECHR): several organisations working for tax justice and the protection of whistleblowers will benefit from the funds.

Members of the support committee, standing behind a banner celebrating the first 200,000 petition signatories

Mobilization must continue!

The judicial aspect of the LuxLeaks is not entirely closed, as the judicial process continues for the two initial co-defendants, Raphaël Halet and journalist Édouard Perrin. If Halet decides to continue the fight before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Antoine's support committee is committed to help him financially. Perrin, acquitted by the Luxembourg courts, initiated proceedings in France to defend the secrecy of the sources; he lost the first round but appealed.

Beyond the LuxLeaks and Antoine's fight, let us hope that many of us continue to actively engage against tax evasion and for the protection of whistleblowers!

Celebration meetup on November 4th!

A convivial lunch is organized on Sunday November 4th, at Centre Léo Lagrange in Épinal (France), starting from twelve. Everyone who supported Antoine is welcome!

People who wish to join are invited to let us know by sending an email to [email protected].

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Photo credits: "Patchwork de la mobilisation autour d’Antoine" © Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour / CC BY-SA 4.0 – "Blow the whistle!" © / CC BY-SA 3.0 – "Merci pour ce moment" © Potus / Le Canarard Enchaîné / All rights reserved – "200.000 signataires" © Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour / CC BY-SA 4.0 – "T-Shirt Je Soutiens Antoine" by Julien Dessailly / © Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour / All rights reserved