scandal broke in early April when German newspaper Sueddeutsche
Zeitung said it had received a cache of 11.5 million leaked
documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca and then
shared them with more than 100 other international news outlets
and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
Sueddeutsche Zeitung has said it would not give the documents to
officials since this would violate the principles of source
protection and freedom of press.
The German Bundesrat, the legislative body representing the 16
federal states, on Friday passed a resolution calling on
Sueddeutsche Zeitung and the ICIJ to hand over the documents.
Tax administration in Germany is handled by the federal states.
"If the data sets from the 'Panama Papers' are not made
accessible, then we cannot draw any consequences," Peter-Juergen
Schneider, Lower Saxony's Finance Minister, said.
Governments around the globe are investigating possible
financial wrongdoing by prominent individuals and corporations
after details of hundreds of thousands of clients were leaked
from Mossack Fonseca, which has set up around 250,000 companies
in the last four decades.
The ICIJ said on Thursday it would not participate in a criminal
probe by the U.S. Department of Justice. The consortium still
has not publicly released many of the leaked files from the
(Reporting by Matthias Sobolewski; Wrting by Michael Nienaber,)
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