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Deltour 'proud' to have advanced the debate
Luxembourg

Deltour 'proud' to have advanced the debate

04.05.2016 From our online archive
On Tuesday, the LuxLeaks trial resumed with the hearing of Antoine Deltour, accused of leaking hundreds of tax documents from PwC, his former place of employment.

(PS/NG) On Tuesday, the LuxLeaks trial resumed with the hearing of Antoine Deltour, accused of leaking hundreds of tax documents from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), his former place of employment, via journalist Edouard Perrin. The latter was also heard by the Luxembourg court Tuesday morning.

"I am quite proud to have contributed to these important advances for taxation in Europe," Deltour said on Tuesday morning before the judge of the district court.

The publication of these tax rulings, the agreements between tax authorities and PwC on behalf of its clients, served as a global wake-up call in the world of tax optimisation.

Automatic exchange of rulings

The publication in particular urged the European Commission, chaired by Jean-Claude Juncker, to take action for better cooperation between states in matters related to tax. A directive on the automatic exchange of the rulings has even been the subject of a political agreement in November 2015 during Luxembourg's presidency of the EU.

The Chambre president sought to understand the intentions of the former auditor when he copied the confidential documents on his personal hard drive on October 13, 2013, on the eve of his departure from the firm.

Ruling out premeditation

Deltour and his lawyers have sought to exclude premeditation: "I found the folder ATA [advanced tax agreements] in close proximity to or near the training folder," the former auditor said to justify his initial step.

He thus said he was "very surprised to have free access" to these documents and stated that it was a bit the chance of coming across the folder which made him copy the folder "without specific intention that that time."

Contact with Edouard Perrin

He didn't explain his initial contact with journalist Edouard Perrin until the second time.

"I am neither a sponsor, nor a thief," declared Perrin to the press upon his exiting the courtroom. He had previously said that "any journalist has to come into possession of evidence." He believes he was simply "doing his job".

The hearing will resume Wednesday with the start of the defense and is expected to continue on May 10, one day after new Panama Papers revelations will be released.