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Court blocks Glencore's request to stop using leaked documents in tax probe

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Court blocks Glencore's request to stop using leaked documents in tax probe

Australia's High Court refused Glencore PLC's request to prevent the Australian Taxation Office from using documents from the 2017 Paradise Papers leak in its tax probe into the mining giant, The Guardian reported Aug. 14.

The Paradise Papers leaks revealed that Glencore's two Bermudan units and its Glencore Australia Investment Holdings subsidiary were involved in swapping US$25 billion in Australian dollars to U.S. dollars.

The transaction, although legal, is being investigated as it may have been used to evade taxes in Australia.

In November 2018, Glencore lodged a writ claiming the leaked documents are subject to legal professional privilege and should not be used by the tax collector.

The report said the High Court unanimously ruled against Glencore as the documents are already in the public domain, and legal professional privilege can only be used as "an immunity from the exercise of powers which would otherwise compel the disclosure of privileged communications."