21:47 GMT11 July 2020
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    The person claiming responsibility for the massive Panama Papers leak expressed readiness to work alongside authorities to put on trial those violators identified in the documents, but only after “governments codify legal protections for whistleblowers into law.”

    In a manifesto issued on Friday, the Panama Papers whistleblower, using the nickname “Joe Doe,” took responsibility for the leak, the largest online document release in history, saying the action was intended to cast a spotlight on the “scale of the injustices they [papers] described.”

    “For the record, I do not work for any government or intelligence agency, directly or as a contractor, and I never have,” John Doe wrote.

    The whistleblower said that increasingly acute global economic inequality pushed him to the decision to share the papers with the world.

    “In this system—our system—the slaves are unaware both of their status and of their masters, who exist in a world apart where the intangible shackles are carefully hidden amongst reams of unreachable legalese. The horrific magnitude of detriment to the world should shock us all awake.”

    John Doe explained that the documents were shared with the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, after other major media outlets refused to publish the leaked documents, once they realized their importance.

    “The sad truth is that among the most prominent and capable media organizations in the world there was not a single one interested in reporting on the story,” John Doe wrote.

    The whistleblower expressed willingness to provide law enforcement with all the original documents necessary to initiate legal actions against wrongdoers. Initially, the data was given to journalists, who vowed to refrain from passing the originals to police.

    To follow through on the promise to release the original documents, the leaker requested that protection for whistleblowers become codified in law, to avoid the kind of persecution experienced by US Army soldier Chelsea Manning, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld, former accountant for Pricewaterhouse Cooper, Antoine Deltour, and many others.

    “I have watched as one after another, whistleblowers and activists in the United States and Europe, have had their lives destroyed by the circumstances they find themselves in after shining a light on obvious wrongdoing.”

    These factors, according to John Doe, indicate the systematic failure of “democracy’s checks and balances.” The whistleblower added that, “now is the time for real action, and that starts with asking questions.”


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