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Luxembourg court charges French reporter over ‘LuxLeaks’ role

Emmanuel Dunand, AFP | A flag in the streets of Luxembourg

A court in Luxembourg has pressed charges against a French journalist over his role in revealing the so-called “LuxLeaks” scandal involving custom-made tax deals for large corporations.

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"The investigative judge charged a French journalist accused of being a co-author, if not an accomplice in crimes committed by a former PwC [PricewaterhouseCoopers] employee," the prosecutor's office said in a statement on Thursday, without naming the journalist.

A court source later confirmed that the French journalist is Edouard Perrin, who first broke the story in 2012 in a programme on France 2 TV station.

The scandal did not really erupt until last November when newspapers pored over 28,000 pages of documents obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), revealing the full scale of the tax breaks won by 340 companies.

The “LuxLeaks” scandal exposed deals that saved some of the world's largest companies, including Apple, IKEA and Pepsi, billions of dollars in taxes.

It put pressure on Luxembourg to improve banking transparency and cast a shadow over European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, who was the country's prime minister at the time.

Perrin is the third person charged in Luxembourg after two former PwC employees. One of them, Antoine Deltour, is accused of stealing documents from the accounting firm before he left in 2010.

The ICIJ trove contained many more documents, including from other accountancy and law firms involved in obtaining secret "tax rulings" that allowed companies to pay as little as 1% tax.

Luxembourg authorities resumed investigations after the ICIJ released its documents, leading to Deltour being charged in December 2014 for violation of professional secrecy and wrongfully accessing a database.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
 

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