LuxLeaks whistleblower welcomes Luxembourg court ruling

Antoine Deltour, the main whistleblower in the LuxLeaks case and board member of The Signals Network, released a statement on Thursday in response to the European Court of Human Rights’ recent decision in Halet v. Luxembourg concerning protection of whistleblowers.

Deltour’s statement has been translated from French to English:

I am very pleased with Raphaël Halet’s legal victory. It is a fair reward for his tenacity.

We should all be grateful to him, because thanks to his action, Luxembourg has not succeeded in weakening the European jurisprudence that protects whistleblowers.

Now we have to focus on the substance of the whistleblowing: tax justice. Despite the Luxleaks, aggressive tax optimization by multinationals remains the norm. The mobilization of everyone is important!

LuxLeaks whistleblower welcomes Luxembourg court ruling
Antoine Deltour is the main whistleblower behind the LuxLeaks case and a board member of The Signals Network.

Deltour worked as an auditor for the accounting firm PwC Luxembourg from 2008 to 2010. When he resigned, he copied hundreds of tax rulings that led to the so-called “LuxLeaks scandal” showing the company had participated in large-scale tax avoidance practices. Deltour’s revelations have since led to several initiatives for more stringent tax laws.

That appeal, brought through a case filed by Deltour’s fellow ex-employee and Luxleaks whistleblower Raphaël Halet, has been ongoing until Wednesday when the Grand Chamber of European Court of Human Rights in Luxembourg ruled that the public interest in Deltour and Halet’s disclosures to the media outweighed any harm done to the company.

Wednesday’s decision has set new precedents in cases involving whistleblowers. Among them are:

  • Information brought forward by a whistleblower does not have to be “essential, new and previously known” to be of the public interest.
  • Information is now deemed of public interest if it sparks controversy over whether or not it is harmful to the public. Previously, public interest information only included information on illegal or reprehensible conduct.
  • Courts must now consider not only how information detriments an employer, but also how it detriments any party involved.
  • It has been clearly stated for the first time that the “Guja test” or “six factor test” that the court uses to assess whistleblowing cases now applies to the private sector — not just the public sector.

The Signals Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by journalists, lawyers, transparency activists and whistleblowers to support and protect those who witness wrongdoing and share public interest information with the press.

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Read Deltour’s statement in its original French:

Je suis très heureux de la victoire judiciaire de Raphaël Halet. C’est la juste récompense de la ténacité dont il a fait preuve.

Nous devrions tous lui en être reconnaissants, car grâce à son action, le Luxembourg n’a pas réussi à affaiblir la jurisprudence européenne qui protège les lanceurs d’alerte.

Reste maintenant à se concentrer sur le fond de l’alerte : la justice fiscale. Malgré les Luxleaks, l’optimisation fiscale agressive des multinationales reste la norme. La mobilisation de chacun est importante!