Supreme Court Clears ‘Luxleaks’ Whistle-blower

The Chair of the Methodist Tax Justice Network Revd David Haslam has expressed delight that the Luxembourg Supreme Court has cleared Antoine Deltour. Deltour was one of the whistle-blowers who informed the world of how the supposedly prestigious accountancy firm PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC) was helping the Government of Luxembourg to assist hundreds of international companies to avoid tax.

Deltour was employed by PwC in Luxembourg in 2012 when he became sickened by the schemes he saw being created between PwC and the Government so corporations could route their profits through the Duchy and pay tax as low as a fraction of 1%. He fed documents to a journalist, was taken to court by PwC, found guilty, fined and given a suspended prison sentence. He appealed and in December 2016 scores of supporters from nearly 20 European countries gathered to support him, including Revd Haslam, as the case went to court, but in March 2017 the appeal was rejected. Now it has been allowed.

Unfortunately the conviction of Raphaël Halet, the other source for the Luxleaks, was upheld, as for some reason he was not granted whistle-blower status. This was despite gaining nothing from his leaks, losing his job and in a shocking interrogation being threatened by PwC and the Luxembourg state authorities with losing his home also.

In the meantime PwC has been banned from India for two years for assisting in one of the largest frauds ever perpetrated in the country. A computer services firm, for whom PwC was auditor between 2000 and 2008, manipulated its accounts to the tune of $1.4 billions.

Revd David Haslam said, ‘We thank God for whistle-blowers, Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet,  Rudolf Elmer (still fighting the Swiss authorities after twelve years over his leaks from the Zurich-based bank Julius Bär) and Herve Falciani who informed the world about the extreme tax dodging at HSBC Switzerland in 2008 (he fled to France and still has a five-year sentence hanging over his head). And of course the still-unknown leakers of the Panama and Paradise Papers. They just lift a corner of the stone under which the world’s wealthy continue to conceal their vast resources. Six individuals now own as much as the poorer half of the whole world’s population. A public register of the trusts and foundations hidden away in tax havens, and a comprehensive, internationally-based and fully-resourced tax system, is the only way to deal with these vast and unacceptable inequalities’.

The Methodist Tax Justice Network was formed in 2012 and in April will become ‘Church Action for TaxJustice’, an ecumenical partner for TaxJustice UK.

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Methodist Tax Justice Network
The Methodist Tax Justice Network aims to put tax justice issues at the heart of the Methodist Church's mission, through campaigning, working with partners in the UK and overseas and educating and communicating within the Methodist Connexion.