Transparency International condemns the prosecution and sentencing of Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet, the two whistleblowers who revealed secret tax rulings between the Luxembourg authorities and multinationals, the so-called “LuxLeaks.”
Transparency International believes that what Deltour and Halet did was in the public interest and that they should be protected. They should not have been prosecuted and we had asked PricewaterhouseCoopers in Luxembourg to withdraw their complaint.
“Transparency International and many other organizations have argued that the information Deltour and Halet disclosed was in the public interest,” says Cobus de Swardt, Managing Director of Transparency International. “Therefore we argued that it is in the public interest to protect them. This ruling raises serious doubts whether Luxembourg’s law protects whistleblowers. We will increase our advocacy efforts in this regard.”
Effective protection of whistleblowers has repeatedly been demanded by European and international organizations including the OECD, the Council of Europe and the European Commission.
“While some progress has been made, most European countries fail to protect whistleblowers. This hurts the fight against corruption, as [whistleblowers] play a critical role in exposing wrongdoing,” says Anne Koch, Regional Director at Transparency International. “We urge all countries to enact and strongly enforce comprehensive whistleblowing laws based on prevailing international standards, including those developed by Transparency International.”
Deltour received a 12-month suspended sentence and was fined €1,500. Halet received a nine-month suspended sentence and was fined €1,000.