THE identity of the hacker who sucked 2.6 terabytes of data out of Mossack Fonseca, a law firm, to bring the world the “Panama papers” remains a mystery. Not so the source of the previous biggest financial leak: on April 26th Antoine Deltour, a soft-spoken, bespectacled former auditor with PwC, went on trial in Luxembourg for his role in the “LuxLeaks” affair.

Mr Deltour does not deny being behind the exposure of cosy tax deals between the Grand Duchy and 340 of the accounting firm’s corporate clients, including Pepsi and FedEx. He passed 28,000 pages of documents to Edouard Perrin, a French journalist, in 2012. Many of these were later put online by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. PwC identified the former employee as the source of the leak and complained to prosecutors, who charged him with theft, violating secrecy laws and illegally accessing a database.

If convicted, Mr Deltour faces up to ten years in prison and a hefty fine. In the dock with him are another former PwC man, Raphaël Halet (in connection with a separate, smaller leak), and Mr Perrin, who is charged as an accomplice. The trial is…Continue reading