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Christian Aid Ireland condemns punishment of LuxLeaks whistleblowers as today's appeal verdict is delivered

15 March 2017 - Christian Aid Ireland has condemned the punishment of the whistleblowers at the centre of the LuxLeaks trial, who were today (15 March 2017) handed revised punishments by a Luxemburg court.

Former PwC employees, Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet, had appealed the verdicts of their initial trial in 2016, which found them guilty for exposing hundreds of secret Luxembourg tax rulings that allowed corporations to avoid taxes in the billion Euro scale. The men were sentenced to 12 and 9 months suspended jail terms respectively.

At today’s appeal ruling, Antoine Deltour was sentenced to a suspended 6-month jail sentence and a fine of €1,500, Raphaël Halet received a €1,000 fine and journalist, Edouard Perrin, was acquitted.
Sorley McCaughey, Head of Advocacy in Christian Aid Ireland, who attended the retrial in December said: 
'Christian Aid Ireland condemns the sentencing of the two LuxLeaks whistleblowers. It is unacceptable that these whistleblowers, who acted in the public interest, will face punishment. 
'These whistleblowers deserve praise, not punishment. Although the Luxembourg court has backtracked and softened the sentences, the fact remains that they are getting punished for acting in the public interest. This is deeply unacceptable. 
'Corporate tax dodging is costing our societies billions of Euro every year. The information revealed in the LuxLeaks scandal should never have been secret in the first place. 
'Citizens should be allowed to know where multinational corporations do business and what they pay in taxes. Homelessness, unemployment and financial uncertainty continue to hit the poorest in society, while governments offer multinationals more and more tax breaks in a damaging race to the bottom. This serves only to leave states with fewer resources to deliver on vital public needs.

'Unfortunately Ireland continues to drag its heels when it comes to introducing legislation that would prevent the kinds of deals exposed by these three men.

'Introducing publicly accessible country by country reporting for companies is being debated in Brussels, but sadly, Ireland is one of the countries that is blocking efforts to have this information made public. 
'Ireland cannot claim to be at the forefront of corporate transparency and at the same time play the laggard when it comes to introducing legislation that would make a real difference. 
'We’re calling for protection of whistleblowers and for transparency around what multinational corporations pay in taxes. No one should have to go to trial for revealing that multinational corporations are dodging taxes.' 

For media queries contact:

Meabh Smith
Head of Communications
Christian Aid Ireland

Email: mjsmith@christian-aid.org

Additional Notes:
  1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

  2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, and sustainably. Our strategy document ‘From Inspiration to Impact’ outlines how we set about this task.

  3. Christian Aid Ireland, with the support of Irish Aid, funds partners in Colombia working on peace building, human rights and accountability.

  4. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org

  5. Follow Christian Aid Ireland on Twitter: twitter.com/christianaidirl

  6. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit www.christianaid.ie

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