Former banker secrecy battle continues

A banker who claims to have handed
details of rich tax cheats to WikiLeaks has been re-arrested.

Rudolf Elmer is being held after
handing Julian Assange two CDs in London reputedly containing the details of up
to 2,000 well known tax evaders.

The list includes 40 politicians
and various celebrities – and the names could be published within a fortnight
once they are verified.

Mr Elmer, 55, was arrested hours after
a court in Zurich found him guilty of coercion and breaking Switzerland’s
strict bank secrecy laws in a separate case.

Chief prosecutor Peter Pellegrini
said the new investigation centres on Mr Elmer’s visit to London on Monday.

The tax cheats on the CDs
apparently include people from Britain, the U.S., Germany, Austria and across
Asia.

Mr Elmer, a former Julius Baer
executive, said at a press conference with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
that he was determined the public should know about the tax law-breaking that
is going on.

‘I do think, as a banker, I have
the right to stand up if something is wrong,’ he said.

‘I am against the system. I know
how the system works and I know the day-to-day business. From that point of
view, I wanted to let society know what I know. It is damaging our society.’

Earlier this week he was fined $6,200
– to be paid if he offends within the next two years.

He was found guilty of making
threats to bank personnel, including a bomb threat, and seeking cash in return
for secret bank data.

Mr Elmer, a certified auditor who
also worked at Credit Suisse and KPMG, had claimed he did not breach Swiss bank
secrecy, since the documents he leaked referred to accounts in Cayman, where
Swiss courts have no jurisdiction.

He was sacked from the Swiss bank
in 2002 after working for eight years as Julius Baer’s chief operating officer
in the Cayman Islands.

 

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