Luxembourg’s Cite Judiciare upheld an earlier judgment against the former PwC employee, as well as his ex-colleague Raphaël Halet, but reduced Deltour’s 12-month suspended prison sentence to six months.
“There was a lot of support outside the court. It is a partial victory that for the first time in Europe that a national judge recognised the whistleblower status for revealing professional secrecy, but a satisfying judgment would have been a full acquittal,” Deltour told International Tax Review.
The Frenchman also revealed to International Tax Review that he is considering appealing the decision.
“I need time to read carefully the judgment and then I will make a decision,” he said. “The last possibility [is] to contest the judgement and it will allow me to go to the European Court of Human Rights, but I haven’t made a decision yet.”
Despite the fact that he was convicted, Deltour is optimistic that his case will have a positive impact and bring greater tax transparency in the future.
“It’s a step forward to whistleblowers in Europe, as my lawyer said it is the first time a European judge recognised whistleblower statues. I think it is step forward for tax justice.”
“Unfortunately, the first trial and the appeal trial gave a lot of attention to the messenger and not to the message, which is about tax competition in Europe and how it is more or a little more transparent thanks to the leak. Tax competition is more intense than ever with the decreasing corporate tax rates everywhere in Europe and I think that is having consequences on budgets and public policing.”
“Today’s decision is a recognition of my role in this story,” he added.