Public statement in support of Hervé Falciani

Dichiarazione promossa dal Movimento 5 Stelle e sottoscritta anche da Barbara Spinelli.

Press statement

“Hervé Falciani is a crucial whistleblower who exposed a major international tax evasion scandal at HSBC’s Swiss bank. His revelations over more than 130.000 clients of the HSBC bank led to a wave of investigations in several countries worldwide, allowing tax authorities to prosecute tax evaders and money launders and to recover billions euros in unpaid taxes. His action uncovered the key role of the banking sector in enabling massive tax evasion and money laundering, making the case for comprehensive tax reform in Europe and increasing pressure over bank secrecy in Switzerland.

Falciani now risks to be extradited from Spain to Switzerland, where he faces five years of imprisonment for financial espionage, due to inadequate whistleblower protection in Europe. In 2013, the Spanish Court had already denied a previous Swiss extradition request, since violating secrecy laws does not constitute a crime in Spain. However, concerns have been raised that the latest threat of extradition could possibly be politically motivated.

This situation cannot be tolerated and highlights the urgent need to adopt an EU effective protection for whistleblowers, as repeatedly advocated by the European Parliament and the civil society. Falciani deserves to be rewarded for standing up for legality and tax justice in order to defend the public interest, at a great personal cost, and not to be sent to jail for uncovering unlawful activities which do not deserve any legal protection. A failure to protect him would constitute a major failure by the European Union to defend democracy and civil rights and would significantly undermine EU efforts in the fight against tax fraud and money laundering.
We therefore call on the Spanish authorities to deny the extradition of Falciani to Switzerland and on all EU countries to ensure his full protection”.

List of members of the European Parliament who agreed to sign the public statement. 

Marco Valli MEP
Laura Agea MEP
Isabella Adinolfi MEP
Marco Affronte MEP
Martina Anderson MEP
Tiziana Beghin MEP
Lynn Boylan MEP
Matt Carthy MEP
Fabio Massimo Castaldo MEP
Ignazio Corrao MEP
Rosa D’Amato MEP
Eleonora Evi MEP
Laura Ferrara MEP
Ana Gomes MEP
Karoline Graswander-Hainz MEP
Dietmar Köster MEP
Monica Macovei  MEP
Ana Miranda MEP
Bernard Monot MEP
Piernicola Pedicini MEP
Georgi Pirinski MEP
Liadh Ni Riada MEP
Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner MEP
Barbara Spinelli MEP
Bart Staes MEP
Dario Tamburrano MEP
Indrek Tarand MEP
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells MEP
Miguel Urbán Crespo MEP
Ernest Urtasun MEP
Julie Ward MEP
Marco Zanni MEP
Marco Zullo MEP
Tomáš Zdechovský MEP