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Appeals court reduces sentences for LuxLeaks whistleblowers

Europe
15.03.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Luxembourg (dpa) - A Luxembourg appeals court on Wednesday decided to reduce the sentences of two men behind the so-called LuxLeaks tax scandal, who had been found guilty of leaking documents implicating hundreds of multinational companies in tax avoidance.

The scandal came to light in 2014, when an international team of investigative journalists reported that Luxembourg had helped more than 340 multinationals - including Pepsi, IKEA and Deutsche Bank - to avoid paying billions of euros in taxes.

The main defendant, Antoine Deltour, a former employee of the global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, was given a 6-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 1,000 euros (1,060 dollars) by the appeals court.

He had previously received a 12-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 1,500 euros (1,600 dollars) for leaking around 45,000 pages of confidential corporate tax arrangements.

The sentence for Deltour‘s former colleague, Raphael Halet, was reduced to a 1,000-euro fine from an original ruling of a nine-month suspended sentence in addition to a fine of 1,000 euros.

The appeals court also re-affirmed the lower court‘s decision to acquit French journalist Edouard Perrin, who had used the leaked documents for reports on the issue.

The lowering of the sentences comes after the lower court‘s ruling last June was sharply criticised by non-governmental organizations and EU lawmakers for intimidating other whistleblowers from acting in the public good.

 

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