The Luxembourg Court of Appeal will hand down its decision in an appeal by two whistleblowers in the so-called “Luxleaks” tax scandal on March 15, the head judge said Monday.
Former PricewaterhouseCoopers employee Antoine Deltour was given a 12-month jail sentence and colleague Raphael Halet nine months at the original trial in June.
Prosecutors in December recommended that Deltour get only six months and that Halet receive only a fine.
Investigative reporter Edouard Perrin, was acquitted of all charges but his name was added to the appeal after prosecutors argued his case was tightly linked to the others.
Defence lawyers for Deltour and Halet once again argued on Monday for a complete acquittal for their clients. It’s the “only decision possible”, said William Bourdon, Deltour’s lawyer.
All three defendants had been charged with leaking thousands of documents that exposed Luxembourg’s huge tax breaks for major international companies.
The LuxLeaks so-called scandal erupted in 2014 and sparked a major global push against generous deals handed to multinationals, which grew even stronger with new revelations such as Panama Papers and Football Leaks.
The blockbuster leak revealed the huge tax breaks 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 revelations ended up prompting the EU to take urgent steps to stop global firms avoiding tax in Europe, including anti-trust inquiries into firms like Apple, McDonald’s and Amazon.
The ‘scandal’ also pressured Luxembourg into accepting a new law that requires EU member states to share tax deal information with its bloc partners.