Sun | Jan 21, 2018

German paper says it won't publish all offshore files

Published:Friday | April 8, 2016 | 12:00 AM
People protest in front of the Parliament building during the third consecutive day of demonstrations calling for a new government in Reykjavik, Iceland. Opposition lawmakers accused the Icelandic government of trying to cling to power Wednesday amid a political impasse after the prime minister stepped aside because of revelations of having offshore accounts.


The German newspaper that first obtained the so-called 'Panama Papers', a vast trove of documents on offshore companies, said yesterday that it won't publish all the files, arguing that not all are of public interest.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) received the documents from an unidentified source more than a year ago and shared at least parts of them with dozens of other media outlets around the world. Since the first reports were published Sunday, prominent politicians, celebrities and businesspeople have had their offshore business dealings dragged into the spotlight, prompting a flurry of public outrage, official investigations and fierce denials from some of those named.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung said the complete set of 11.5 million documents "won't be made available to the public or to law enforcement agencies. That's because the SZ isn't the extended arm of prosecutors or the tax investigators".

Authorities have legal powers to obtain such documents from those suspected of wrongdoing, and in many cases, there is no public interest in revealing companies' or individuals' offshore business dealings, the Munich-based paper said.

The documents relate to Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which helps create shell companies for the world's rich and famous. The firm said it has filed a criminal complaint alleging that the data was stolen in a hacking attack.