The anonymous source behind the Panama Papers scandal has for the first time broken his silence, offering to make leaked documents available to public prosecutors.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung published a 1,800-word statement by the whistleblower on Friday.
Signed with the name “John Doe,” the manifesto, titled “The Revolution Will Be Digitized,” cited the need for better whistleblower protection and hinted at more revelations to come.
The documents suggested that 140 politicians and officials from around the globe, including 72 former and current world leaders, have connections with secret offshore companies to escape tax scrutiny in their countries.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung was offered the data over a year ago through an encrypted channel and started publishing material last month, in what has been called the biggest information leak in history.
The source of the leak said in the manifesto that “a new global debate has started, which is encouraging.”
Its author said: “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 Süddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, not for any specific political purpose, but simply because I understood enough about their contents to realise the scale of the injustices they described,” the statement said.
The source also said he was willing to cooperate with public prosecutors.
“ICIJ and its partner publications have rightly stated that they will not provide them to law enforcement agencies. I, however, would be willing to cooperate with law enforcement to the extent that I am able.”
Mossack Fonseca, the law firm from where the Panama Papers were leaked, said on Friday it has issued a cease-and-desist letter to the ICIJ urging it not to release the trove of documents online.
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