Are Antoine Deltour and Edouard Perrin criminals? Or were they simply doing their job revealing public interest information?
If you, too, want to know what President François Hollande thinks about this, ask him in a letter.
(if you don’t see the subtitles, activate them in the menu bar at the bottom of the video)
The LuxLeaks trial will start on April 26. Two of your fellow citizens will be tried by a Luxembourg Court for exposing to the entire world the Grand Duchy’s dubious tax agreements struck with multi-national corporations in order to help them evade taxes, notably in France. This should come as a crucial topic to you, since you famously declared in a 2012 speech that your adversary “is the world of finance.”
Antoine Deltour is a whistleblower, Edouard Perrin a journalist. Without both of them, there would be no information. Without their courage, tens of millions of readers and viewers would not have been informed. Indeed, more than 80 reporters in 26 different countries used the information to further investigate the matter via the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Luxembourg’s prosecutor charged Perrin and Deltour with breaching trade secrets. The same notorious trade secrets a majority of Members of the European Parliament chose to protect very recently. The MEP’s voted for a directive that will allow a massive and systematic prosecution of all the future Deltours and Perrins in the European Union.
That is, unless France and other member states, via the European Council, decide to block that dangerous directive. To do so would require a sincere commitment to defend the freedom of information and the right to know of 500 million European citizens.
Two weeks ago, the « Panama Papers » scandal broke with front-page news stories in 109 countries. We were as shocked as you were to discover a massive tax avoidance system used by corporations to escape paying their fair share of taxes.
The day after this unprecedented avalanche of information, you rightly declared: « I thank the whistleblowers, I thank the press mobilization (…)It is thanks to a whistleblower we now have this information (…) they take risks, they should be protected ».
Which is why we would like to hear you say the same for Antoine Deltour and Edouard Perrin. They face jail sentences and heavy fines. Yet, our societies owe them a lot.
So far, neither you nor any French government official or member of the European Commission have expressed any support for our two brave fellow citizens. How can you remain silent any longer? The time has come to take a stand.
Soon, journalists and their sources could be sued by companies if they reveal what these companies want to keep secret. Unless we react to defend the investigative work of journalists and, by extension, the right for citizen to be informed.
Under the alibi of the fight against industrial espionage, the European Parliament is preparing a new massive weapon against journalism, “trade secrets”, whose definition allows not less then an unprecedented censorship in Europe.