10 May 2016 05:00pm

Lux-leaks scandal: prosecutors seek 18-month sentences for whistleblowers

Prosecutors have asked for 18-month prison sentences for the Lux-leaks whistleblowers, a court heard on Tuesday

After a two-week trial in Luxembourg, Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet, former employees of PwC, were found to have violated a confidentiality agreement with their employer.

The two men are accused of leaking thousands of documents to journalist Edouard Perrin.

Antoine Deltour faces charges of theft, violating the Grand Duchy’s secrecy laws and illegally accessing a database, while Raphael Halet faces similar charges.

David Lentz, deputy state prosecutor, said he had taken into consideration the revelations on "certain doubtful practices" exposed by the leaks but they had nonetheless broken Luxembourg’s laws, according to Agence France-Presse.

"For Deltour and Halet we ask for the same sentence: the confiscation of objects seized in France, a fine and 18 months in prison.”

He said that Edouard Perrin, the first journalist to publish reports related to the PwC papers, broke the law and should be fined.

The verdict is expected by mid-June. Lawyers said they would appeal any conviction to the European Court of Human Rights.

When the trial first started in April, the court heard Deltour only had access to the leaked documents because of a glitch in PwC’s servers.

The scandal erupted in 2014 when a joint investigation by the Guardian and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), leaked 28,000 documents detailing Luxembourg’s rubber-stamping of tax avoidance schemes.

The exposed papers found more than 1,000 businesses had tax avoidance schemes approved by Luxembourg’s government, many with paperwork prepared by PwC.

Jessica Fino


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