Wednesday, April 06, 2016

wikilieaks calls for panama papeles to be released in full



belfasttelegraph |  Mr Hrafnsson, who worked on the ‘Cablegate’ leak of diplomatic documents in 2010, suggested the withholding of documents is understandable to maximise the impact, but said that in the end the papers should be published in full for the public to access.

He told RT's Afshin Rattansi on Going Underground: "When they are saying this is responsible journalism, I totally disagree with the overall tone of that.

"I do have a sympathy to stalled releases, we certainly did that in WikiLeaks in 2010 and 2011 with the Diplomatic Cables… but in the end the entire cache was put online in a searchable database.
"That is what I’d want to see with these Panama Papers, they should be available to the general public in such a manner so everybody, not just the group of journalists working on the data, can search it."

The reports are from a global group of news organisations working with the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The consortium have been processing the legal records from the Mossack Fonseca law firm that were first leaked to the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Shell companies are not necessarily illegal. People or companies might use them to reduce their tax bill legally, by benefiting from low tax rates in countries like Panama, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

But the practice is frowned upon, particularly when used by politicians, who then face criticism for not contributing to their own countries' economies.

Because offshore accounts and companies also hide the names of the ultimate owners of investments, they are often used to illegally evade taxes or launder money.

Presenter Rattansi mentions that the ICIJ is funded by the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Endowment think tank, the Rockefellers and George Soros.