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Luxembourg wants prison for LuxLeakers

August 2, 2016

Authorities have challenged the sentences handed down to whistleblowers who exposed the duchy's huge tax breaks for giant multinationals. The so-called LuxLeaks case shone light on tax havens within the European Union.

Luxemburg Prozessbeginn Luxleaks
Image: picture-alliance/Maxppp

Prosecutors in Luxembourg said on Tuesday they wanted harsher sentences handed down to two former employees embroiled in the much-publicized LuxLeaks scandal.

"The prosecutor has decided to appeal the verdict," an unnamed spokeswoman for the Luxembourg judiciary said. The case would be resumed as soon as possible, she added.

The LuxLeaks case, in which information was leaked by employees of accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), exposed the generous tax deal secured by major corporations.

The revelations were doubly embarrassing since they showed that many of the tax deals were cut during the premiership of Jean-Claude Juncker, now head of the European Commission.

The employees who were convicted were Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet. They were given suspended 12-month and nine-month jail terms, respectively. Journalist Edouard Perrin, who reported on the exposed documents for France 2 television, was acquitted of all charges following the trial that ended in June.

Luxemburg Raphael Halet , Antoine Deltour und Edouard Perrin beim LuxLeaks-Prozess
Former PcW employees Raphael Halet, left, and Antoine Deltour, right, received 12-month and nine-month sentences respectively while journalist Edouard Perrin was acquitted.Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Warnand

Illuminated favorable terms for the wealthy

Prosecutors also want to challenge Perrin's acquittal. Following his report, the entire volume of documents - about 30,000 files - were released to the public domain and used in the high-profile 'LuxLeaks' reports prepared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in November 2014.

Deltour and Halet - whose current sentences are on appeal - faced up to a decade in prison on charges such as the stealing of documents and revealing business secrets.

Their defense lawyers pushed for an acquittal of all three defendants, arguing the leaks were a form of public service.

jar/kms (Reuters, AFP)