Legal

Ex-Julius Baer Banker Collapses In Zurich Court During Leak Of Client Data Case - Report

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, London, 10 December 2014

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A former employee of Julius Baer accused of leaking client account data via the WikiLeaks site has reportedly collapsed after going on trial in a Zurich court, where he faces charges of breaking Swiss bank secrecy laws.

A former employee of Julius Baer accused of leaking client account data via the WikiLeaks site has collapsed after going on trial in a Zurich court, where he faces charges of breaking Swiss bank secrecy laws, according to Bloomberg. The trial was suspended as he received medical care, the report said.

The report said prosecutors want a prison term for Rudolf Elmer that lasts three and a half years.

The case is controversial because Elmer embarked on a campaign to highlight alleged tax evasion by clients of the Zurich-listed bank. He left the firm over 10 years ago. He also allegedly offered to give bank data to the German government and forged a document about his erstwhile employer.

The case puts a spotlight on the difficulties Swiss bankers can face if they wish, even for completely legitimate reasons, to draw attention to what they think are abuses.

“The accused led a very versatile and persistent fight against Julius Baer,” Prosecutor Peter Giger, in the document, dated 30 June, was quoted by the news service as saying.

Elmer has denied wrongdoing.

The report said the trial began with three judges deciding whether the statute of limitations applies to charges related to alleged disclosures via WikiLeaks, saying they would make a decision at the same time they decide on the whole case.

Elmer reportedly said in a prepared statement that he uploaded a forged letter from Julius Baer to German Chancellor Angela Merkel “to test WikiLeaks” in 2007.

Elmer worked at a unit of Julius Baer in the Cayman Islands until 2002.

The case continues.

 

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