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LuxLeaks prosecutors seek 18 months’ jail for whistleblowers

Luxembourg prosecutors on Tuesday called for two whistleblowers on trial over the “LuxLeaks” scandal to be given jail sentences of 18 months, and for a journalist to be fined.

Frenchmen Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet, both former employees of auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), are accused of leaking thousands of documents to journalist Edouard Perrin.

The documents revealed the huge tax breaks that tiny EU nation Luxembourg offers international firms including Apple, IKEA and Pepsi, saving the companies billions of dollars (euros) in taxes.

The maximum penalty available was a jail sentence of 10 years for the charges against the two whistleblowers which include stealing documents, revealing business secrets and violation of professional secrets.

“Deltour and Halet are not really whistleblowers, and Perrin has broken the law,” deputy state prosecutor David Lentz told the court as he summed up the prosecution’s case two weeks after the trial began.

“We are here to deliver justice. They must be judged on what they did, this trial has to take place. It’s disagreeable, but my job is to protect society against all abuse of the law,” he added.

A verdict is not expected until mid-June.

Rights groups have said the three are being unfairly prosecuted.