LuxLeaks whistleblowers’ sentences cut on appeal

Sentences of two ex-PwC employees cut as journalist is acquitted for second time

Raphael Halet (left), and Antoine Deltour (right), former employees of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and journalist Edouard Perrin (centre) pictured on Wednesday. Photograph: EPA

Raphael Halet (left), and Antoine Deltour (right), former employees of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and journalist Edouard Perrin (centre) pictured on Wednesday. Photograph: EPA

 

The whistleblowers behind the LuxLeaks taxation disclosures have had their sentences reduced on appeal.

The Court of Appeal in Luxembourg upheld the two men’s convictions but reduced their sentences in a ruling on Wednesday.

Antoine Deltour, a former PricewaterhouseCoopers employee who leaked documents showing how the firm’s Luxembourg branch helped multinational companies to use Luxembourg to avoid tax, was given a six-month suspended sentence and fined €1,500 on appeal.

Raphael Halet, another PwC employee who had helped Deltour, was fined €1,000.

After the first trial last year, Deltour received a 12-month suspended sentence and a fine of €1,500. Halet was fined €1,000 and given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Journalist acquitted

Edouard Perrin, a journalist who had revealed the tax avoidance scheme in a programme on French TV in 2012, was acquitted for the second time.

The decision of the Luxembourg court was criticised by Christian Aid Ireland, which said it was not acceptable that whistleblowers who acted in the public interest should be punished.

“These whistleblowers deserve praise, not punishment,” said Sorley McCaughey, head of advocacy with Christian Aid Ireland. “Although the Luxembourg court has backtracked and softened the sentences, the fact remains that they are getting punished for acting in the public interest.”

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy expressed disappointment that the convictions were upheld.

“The courageous actions of these whistleblowers in exposing the tax-dodging scams of multinationals should be applauded, not prosecuted,” he said.