Home » Maximum sentence of 12 years demanded against two main suspects in Panama Papers trial

Maximum sentence of 12 years demanded against two main suspects in Panama Papers trial

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German-Panamanian lawyer Jürgen Mossack, a main suspect, at the court. — © AFP

In Panama, twelve years in prison were demanded on Wednesday against the two founders of the local law firm Mossack Fonseca for money laundering. The duo were at the center of the “Panama Papers”, an international scandal surrounding large-scale tax fraud.

Source: BELGA

Today at 06:29

German-Panamanian lawyer Jürgen Mossack (76) and Panamanian businessman and lawyer Ramon Fonseca (71) and 24 other defendants are accused of money laundering by setting up 215,000 mailbox companies in tax havens. Politicians, businessmen, sportsmen and other prominent figures hid their assets in this way.

Prosecutor Isis Soto asked for the maximum sentence for the main suspects. She also demanded the conviction of the 24 other defendants, mostly former employees of the company. They have been tried since April 9 in the Panama Papers case.

Recover taxes

In the spring of 2016, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and other media from the ICIJ network of international investigative journalists exposed the activities of the mailbox companies founded in Panama. The newspaper obtained 11.5 million documents through a major data leak. Nearly 400 journalists from more than 80 countries, including Belgium (De Tijd, Knack, MO*, Le Soir), plowed through the files.

The names of 140 politicians and confidants emerged. In Iceland, the publication led to the resignation of Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson. In Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had to resign. The ICIJ received a Pulitzer Prize for the Panama Papers in 2017, the highest prize in American journalism. Following the revelations, many countries launched tax investigations so they could recover millions in tax revenue.

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