LuxLeaks-Hinweisgeber Antoine Deltour geht in Berufung

Einer der Hinweisgeber (“Whistleblower”) der “Luxemburg Leaks“, Antoine Deltour, geht in Berufung. Vor drei Wochen hatte ein Luxemburger Gericht in zweiter Instanz zwar Deltours Strafe aus der ersten Instanz reduziert, ihn aber immer noch zu einem halben Jahr Gefängnis auf Bewährung und 1.500 Euro Geldstrafe verurteilt – obwohl es ihn als Hinweisgeber anerkannte. Deltour geht nun zu Recht in Berufung, und begründet es wie folgt in einer Pressemitteilung:

“The judgment of the Luxembourg Court of Appeal from March 15 provided a detailed examination of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)’s jurisprudence. This has led to my acquittal for disclosing professional secrecy and the recognition of my whistleblower status. This is a first victory and even an unprecedented decision from a national judge in the Council of Europe countries. Paradoxically, this also led to the confirmation of my criminal conviction.

First, the legal argument used is highly questionable. Indeed, I am convicted because, allegedly, I could not demonstrate that, when I took the documents, I intended to blow the whistle. However, this is by no means a criterion of the well-established ECHR jurisprudence.

Second, I cannot accept that the Luxembourg Court of Appeal distorts the facts to challenge my whistleblower intention: it takes the form of some statements being misrepresented, some concrete evidence not being taken into account and even turning what I said during the hearings to its exact opposite! How to explain that, after 13 hearings, many factual elements are still misinterpreted?

Third, this conviction not only contradicts the ECHR jurisprudence but it also leads, paradoxically, to a reduction of whistleblowers’ protection: it requires them, when removing documents with general interest information, to necessarily have in mind a deliberate, premeditated strategy. Otherwise they would not be protected… This prevents citizens from blowing the whistle only after a reflection or even a hesitation, as in my case, concerning the means to blow the whistle.

I therefore consider that this judicial decision does not correspond to the features of a fair decision; I would not be consistent if I would not go for appeal, as permitted by the law. I consider that European law is fully on my side.

Moreover, despite the length of the procedure that is underway and the uncertainty on its outcome, a victory could reinforce the still young and fragile whistleblower status. So I decided, surrounded by many supporters and citizens, that this judicial struggle deserves to be conducted.”

 Wer Deltour unterstützen will, kann dies hier (mit Unterschrift und/oder Geld) tun.

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