The conviction of Luxemburg whistleblowers marked a dark day for truth telling in EU. Antoine Deltour and Raphel Halet, former PricewaterhouseCoopers employees, were given 12 and nine months of detention and fines of €1,500 and € 1,000 respectively. Journalist Edouard Perrin was released of all charges.
The court ruling points out that the interests of PricewaterhouseCoopers and its clients are more important than abuse of EU tax system.
Deltour and Halet have been accused of violating a confidentiality agreement in their employment contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The leaked documents had details of unlawful tax arrangements done by Luxembourg to many corporate
s such as Apple, Pepsi and Ikea.
Mr. Perin was accused of manipulating Halet to release the information regarding the company. Mr. Roland Michel, who represented Perrin, said that the only wrongdoing by his client is to expose the truth.
The data was sent to Edouard Perrin by an employee of the company and was considered as leaked data by the court. This raises questions to other journalists that whether working with leaked data can lead to prosecution even if it is in the public interest.
The Luxembourg leak is the second largest leak about corporate tax deals after Panama papers which were released last month.
EU was forced to take measures against tax deals between corporates and states after the leak. Apple McDonald’s and Amazon had to undergo antitrust inquiries.