Newsletter #8

LuxLeaks appeal trial: will the justice be done to the whistleblowers?

The dates of the second Luxleaks trial have been set: the 12, 19 and 21 of December. After the convictions in the first instance, we must strengthen the mobilization to ensure Antoine’s release.

October 7th, 2016

In this newsletter:

A new LuxLeaks trial

The whistleblowers appealed

After being convicted on June 29th, Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet have each decided to appeal against their verdict. The judge has recognized them as whistleblowers (selflessness and social usefulness of their action) but he sentenced them to 12 months and 9 months suspended jail time and fines.

Antoine and the Support Committee consider this sentence incomprehensible and unacceptable!

Antoine with journalists, after the first hearing
Le procureur David Lentz, poussant un chariot, de dos

Prosecutor appeals LuxLeaks sentences

Late July, there was a new development in the Luxleaks trial: The Prosecutor of Luxembourg has decided to appeal the verdict. The official argument of the prosecution is not to truncate the case. This has a direct consequence: the journalist Edouard Perrin goes back on the trial, while previously acquitted of all charges.

From 12 to 21 of December, the appeal trial will look very much like the trial from last spring. And for us, one goal: release of the convicted ones!

Let’s keep on supporting Antoine

The first trial cost most than € 35,000 to Antoine. This expense corresponds to the lawyers’ fees. It has been fully funded by the Support Committee. Thanks for your donations! A equivalent bill is expected for the second appeal. Keep supporting Antoine by sharing this letter and by calling to help his defense via donations.

Donate Now

When I look at myself in the mirror and I realize I am sentenced to one year suspended jail time, I do not recognize myself: I am not a criminal.

Antoine Deltour
speaking in a TV documentary (watch it online, in French or German)

Support to the whistleblowers

Luxleaks according to Antoine Deltour

Beginning September, the French-German TV channel Arte broadcast a 35-minute documentary dedicated to Antoine. The filmmakers have followed him for more than a year in its daily activities and the highlights of his fight. The documentary is online (in French or German).

Screen capture from the Arte documentary

France strengthens whistleblowers’ protection

In the last months, the French parliament has debated on a new anti-corruption law that includes whistleblowers’ protection. The adoption of the law stumbled on how to define whistleblowers. Finally, the bill voted on 29 of September is a major step forward: a whistleblower like Antoine Deltour would from now on be protected. Even if the implementation of the law will face difficulties, the bill ensures enhanced protection of whistleblowers against retaliation and sets whistleblowing collection procedures. When will we get a similar protection at the European level?

108 MEPs sign an open letter

On September 8, 108 Members of the European Parliament issued a letter to Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet. Their conviction is a “shock”, MEPs say. The signatories say they want to work for a future directive protecting whistleblowers. They also hope that an investigation will be conducted in Luxembourg on concerning the “intimate ties” between PwC and tax administration, as highlighted during the trial.

MEPs voting, thumbs up

A welcomed jurisprudence

France Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation), overturned the dismissal of a whistleblower, arguing that the employee enjoyed immunity. This decision occurred on June 30 and was the first in France. It set jurisprudence. Great news!

We express our support and solidarity with you in light of the on-going judicial proceedings against you in Luxembourg. We salute your courage over the past years and your tenacity…

Quote from the open letter of 108 MEPs addressed Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet

Fight against tax evasion

Scandals, always scandals…

In early August, Germany sent several European countries about 160,000 bank details of individuals suspected of tax fraud in Luxembourg: more than 40,000 accounts relate to French holders.

In late August, the European Commission has fined Apple record penalties, punishing its tax arrangements in Ireland. Other cases of multinationals are being investigated by the committee: McDonald's, Amazon... and the French group GDF-Suez (now Engie) since a few days!

Finally, in September, we got new revelations from ICIJ about 175,000 offshore companies involved in Bahamas Leaks.

Towards a fiscal Europe?

After Brexit, the European project will (finally) include taxation issues. Jean-Claude Juncker reiterated that priority in the European Parliament, during his speech on the state of the European Union. The Commission will make proposals this autumn to create a common tax base for companies operating in the EU.

It is unacceptable that people who put themselves in jeopardy to serve the public interest could be penally convicted. It is the society's duty to protect people like Antoine Deltour.

Michel Sapin
French Minister of Economy and Finance

Calendar of events

October 6th-7th
Leipzig (Germany)

ECPMF annual conference

Antoine will be (remotely) speaking at the annual European Media Freedom Conference.

November 14th-15th
London (UK)

OffshoreAlert Conference

Antoine will be speaking at the OffshoreAlert Conference held in London

Let's support Antoine

More than 210,000 people signed the petition! The number of well-known supporters also keeps increasing: 66 organizations and 361 individuals.

More than 1,700 people already contributed to the fundraising… thank you so much!

In order to fund Antoine's defense, we still need donations:

Donate Now

Donations to the Support Committee are collected via the secured platform HelloAsso.

You can also: :

  • Follow us and share information about supporting Antoine on the facebook page Support Antoine and the twitter account @support_antoine

  • Invite your family and networks to keep informed and sign the pledge via the website

  • Take any opportunity to let people know about Antoine’s situation: through the local press, bulletins from associations or activists, speeches during debates or by organizing events… Feel free to contact the Support Committee to let them know about the initiatives or to prepare the actions.

  • Join the Support Commitee (minimum fee: 5€).

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Photo credits: "Première audience" © Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour / CC BY-SA 4.0 – "David Lentz" © Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour / CC BY-SA 4.0 – "Arte Reportage" Capture d'écran / Arte TV – "MEPs voting" © European Union 2016 - European Parliament / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 – "European flags" © TPCOM 2009, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0