Double Standards: EU Commissioner De Gucht Is 'Innocent Until Proven Guilty'; EU Citizens Are 'Guilty Until Proven Innocent'
from the one-law-for-the-rich,-one-law-for-the-poor dept
Belgium’s Tax Inspection Service has accused European Commissioner Karel De Gucht of tax fraud. The service says that Mr De Gucht and his wife failed to declare the profit that they made on the sale of shares of the Vista group on which tax was due."Politician accused of tax fraud" is hardly news; but what is more interesting is the European Commission's reaction. Here's what it said according to the Dutch language version of the story on the site quoted above:
The Commission adds to this that De Gucht "not guilty until proven to the contrary."Of course, you might say; after all, surely everyone is innocent until proven guilty? In fact, no:
A Party may provide, in accordance with its laws and regulations, its competent authorities with the authority to order an online service provider to disclose expeditiously to a right holder information sufficient to identify a subscriber whose account was allegedly used for infringementNote the word "allegedly" -- not much presumption of innocence there when your details must be disclosed "expeditiously." That comes from Article 27 of ACTA, currently being pushed by the European Commission with all its might in a desperate attempt to get it ratified by the European Parliament next month.
So on the one hand, we have someone who allegedly failed to declare profits of 1.2 million euros (about $1.5 million), and who must be assumed innocent; while on the other, we have someone who allegedly infringes on someone's copyright -- perhaps by sharing a single mp3 file -- and who, by contrast, is assumed guilty. Double standards much, European Commission?