Press Review: Raphaël Halet – The Silence Man of Europe

Politico reported about the LuxLeaks whistleblower Raphaël Aalet

8. Dezember 2016


The silent man of LuxLeaks fights back, by Simon Marks

„For more than a year after he was charged in the so-called LuxLeaks trial, Raphael Halet was unable to defend himself.

The former PricewaterhouseCoopers employee believed he was prohibited by contract from explaining why he had sent a journalist documents detailing the controversial tax practices of companies like Ikea, Amazon and Apple. […] 

“The story of Halet is another glaring example of the EU’s utter failure to protect those that sacrifice much in their life for the public interest,” said Fabio de Masi, a politician from Die Linke in Germany and a Member of the European Parliament. “Despite much public talk about tax avoidance after LuxLeaks, he has received no support whatsoever from authorities in France or anywhere else. It shows the hypocrisy in political discourse and the bad shape of our democracy that whistleblowers are left so unprotected.”

Whatever the ultimate verdict, Halet’s offensive is bound to keep the behavior he exposed in the spotlight. Already, his leaks have raised awareness about tax avoidance and whistleblowing and made life particularly uncomfortable for Juncker.

Renewed attention, Halet said, will spur policymakers to close tax loopholes, increase protections for those who report corporate misbehavior, and — given his travails — take measures to make sure that others aren’t pressured into remaining silent.

“We are increasingly of the view that an outright ban on gagging orders would be for the best,” said Alex Cobham, chief executive of Tax Justice Network, a network of campaigners that strives for tougher rules to fight against tax evasion. “That could be achieved simply by making them non-enforceable in law — so companies could still make people sign, but people would not be bound.” […]“

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