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April 11, 2013, 1:19 p.m.

Le Monde has declined to share information it gained through its collaboration with the ICIJ Offshore Leaks project with budget minister Bernard Cazeneuve. Cazeneuve’s request comes on the heels of the resignation of previous budget minister, Jerome Cahuzac, who is accused of hiding hundreds of thousands of euros in Swiss bank accounts.

In a statement, the paper’s editors said they could not allow “the press” to be considered a hindrance to the judicial system and that, further, turning over the information could endanger ICIJ director Gerard Ryle’s sources. WAN-IFRA’s Editors Weblog has this translation:

The article then isolates the following rule governing the journalistic profession, arguing that it cannot simply be ignored: a journalist should under no circumstances confuse his/her role with that of a police officer or upholder of the law. In investigating the workings of offshore dealings, Le Monde argues that it is neither engaged in a business of informing and denouncing, nor working as an assistant to fiscal inspectors or any other authorities, including the judiciary and the police.

Calls have been made in other countries as well for government oversight agencies to examine the ICIJ’s data.

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