Panama Papers source 'John Doe' breaks silence

May 07, 2016
eight_col_Clipboard_2 PANAMA: The anonymous source behind the leak of the Panama Papers, which have put spotlight on tax havens of wealthy people, has broken the silence, offering to help law authorities make prosecutions in return for immunity, BBC reported. In a 1,800-word statement on Friday, "John Doe" reveals he has never worked for a spy agency or a government and cited "income equality" as a motive for the leaks. The documents have revealed the hidden offshore assets of hundreds of politicians, officials, current and former national leaders, celebrities and sports stars.They list more than 200,000 shell companies, foundations and trusts set up in tax havens around the world. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's sons and his daugther Maryam Nawaz Sharif are among over 200 Pakistanis named in Panama leaks. The papers belonged the Mossack Fonseca law firm. It denies any wrongdoing and says it is the victim of a hack. Although the name John Doe is used, the gender of the source has not been revealed. In the statement, The Revolution will be Digitized, John Doe starts by saying: "Income equality is one of the defining issues of our time." "Banks, financial regulators and tax authorities have failed. Decisions have been made that have spared the wealthy while focusing instead on reining in middle- and low-income citizens." "Thousands of prosecutions could stem from the Panama Papers, if only law enforcement could access and evaluate the actual documents. "ICIJ and its partner publications have rightly stated that they will not provide them to law enforcement agencies. "I, however, would be willing to co-operate with law enforcement to the extent that I am able." "Legitimate whistleblowers who expose unquestionable wrongdoing, whether insiders or outsiders, deserve immunity from government retribution," he added. Sordid acts Responding to speculation about his or her identity, John Doe's statement says: "For the record, I do not work for any government or intelligence agency, directly or as a contractor, and I never have. "My viewpoint is entirely my own, as was my decision to share the documents with Suddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), not for any specific political purpose, but simply because I understood enough about their contents to realise the scale of the injustices they described." Global judicial systems have "utterly failed to address the metastasizing tax havens spotting Earth's surface". "I decided to expose Mossack Fonseca because I thought its founders, employees and clients should have to answer for their roles in these crimes, only some of which have come to light thus far. "It will take years, possibly decades, for the full extent of the firm's sordid acts to become known." --AFP

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