Whistleblower to contest appeal sentence

Antoine Deltour will appeal the decision passed on March 15
Antoine Deltour will appeal the decision passed on March 15
Photo: Chris Karaba

The man who revealed the Luxleaks scandal, Antoine Deltour, has said he will contest the sentence handed to him last month at the Court of Appeal in Luxembourg.

"I don't think this decision is characteristic of a fair decision and it would not be consistent for me not to use the right of appeal that the law offers me," Deltour, 31, said.

The former PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) auditor was given a six month suspended sentence and fined 1,500 euros for leaking thousands of documents that revealed tax breaks for multinational firms.

On appeal the judge recognised the action of whistleblowing justified breaching the professional secrecy but maintained the accusations of documents theft.

Deltour, 31, had downloaded the documents in October 2010 on his last day of work with the auditor in Gasperich.

During the appeal, Deltour's defence hopes to quash the March decision based on the rules of law and not on the merits of the case.

His defence reports a "highly questionable legal argument".

Deltour said: "I would not have shown them that only at the time of the removal of the documents, I intended to whistleblow. However, this is by no means a criterion laid down by well-established case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)."

The appeal in higher court will be done mainly in writing and will constitute the last act of the Luxleaks trial in Luxembourg.

In the event of an unsatisfactory settlement, the defence may file a final appeal before the ECHR in Strasbourg and may obtain full protection for the whistleblowers.

"Despite the length of the procedure and the uncertainty as to its outcome, a victory could strengthen the status of the whistleblower," Deltour said on Wednesday evening in front of his supporters.

Raphael Halet, who was given a fine on appeal, has not yet revelaed if he will follow up the judgement passed on March 15.  

Get the latest news by signing up to our newsletter, following us on Facebook or Twitter.