The trial will get under way one year after charges were first brought against those held responsible for revealing how cross-border tax avoidance by major multinational corporations was facilitated by Luxembourg’s government under then Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker (now president of the European Commission).
They are charged with domestic theft, violating professional confidentiality, violating business secrets and fraudulently accessing a database. This is an outrage given the importance of the service that the leaks rendered to Europe’s citizens.
“This trial should not be taking place,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “The information revealed by the LuxLeaks case is of major importance and is clearly in the public interest. Who can claim that the public does not have the right to be told about the tax optimization methods used by leading multinationals and the preferential treatment they get from certain governments?
“The trade secrets directive adopted by the European Parliament on 14 April has a clause that refers to article 11 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights protecting journalists, their sources and the ‘freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority.’ At the very least, Luxembourg’s justice system should accept this principle.”
This trial is not worthy of Luxembourg or its ranking in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index – 15th out of 180 countries.