Panama City: The anonymous whistleblower who revealed millions of documents belonging to Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, causing a worldwide stir, has denied working for any government or intelligence agency, and said the decision to share the data was not for any political purpose.
“I do not work for any government or intelligence agency, and I never have. My viewpoint is entirely my own, as was my decision to share the documents, not for any specific political purpose,” the source, “John Doe”, said in a manifesto published in the German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung.
Speaking for the first time, Doe said he revealed the documents “because I understood enough about their contents to realise the scale of the injustices they described”.
He shared the data with Suddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) that led to an enormous stir all over the globe.
In India, The Indian Express newspaper collaborated with the investigation.
Politicians and functionaries had to resign, there were public protests, and the stories led to raids and investigations in dozens of countries due to the 11.5 million leaked documents named ‘Panama Papers’.
“I decided to expose Mossack Fonseca because I thought it should answer for its role 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,” Doe said.
In the manifesto, Doe argued that “the collective impact of these failures has been a complete erosion of ethical standards, ultimately leading to a novel system we still call capitalism, but which is tantamount to economic slavery”.
“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 documents reveal the large-scale use by firms and wealthy individuals of offshore shell companies that enable hiding assets from tax authorities.
The source also said Edward Snowden — the former US intelligence contractor behind the US National Security Agency leaks, now in Moscow, “deserves a hero’s welcome and a substantial prize, not banishment”.
“Legitimate whistleblowers who expose unquestionable wrongdoing, whether insiders or outsiders, deserve immunity from government retribution, full stop,” Doe said.