Two whistleblowers in the “LuxLeaks” tax scandal were given suspended jail sentences on Wednesday for leaking thousands of documents that exposed Luxembourg’s huge tax breaks for major international companies.
Former PricewaterhouseCoopers employees Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet received 12-month and nine-month sentences respectively while journalist Edouard Perrin was acquitted of all charges.
Deltour and Halet, who were present at the trial, have 40 days to appeal the decision.
In an email to AFP, a support group for Deltour said he would appeal, adding that the verdict amounted to a “warning” by the court to whistleblowers.
The documents revealed the huge tax breaks that tiny EU nation Luxembourg offered international firms including Apple, IKEA and Pepsi, at a time when Jean-Claude Juncker, now head of the European Commission, was prime minister.
The two men faced a maximum penalty of 10 years for the charges which included stealing documents, revealing business secrets and violation of professional secrets.
The documents were originally used for a 2012 report on French public television but really exploded onto the world stage two years later with the huge “LuxLeaks” release of all 30,000 pages into the public domain.