Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ex-Swiss banker and Whistle-blower Rudolf Elmer Found Guilty

By Jerry Smith Jan 19 2011

Rudolf Elmer, the man who earlier this week handed over two discs of banking documents to Julian Assange at the Frontline Club, and had given documents to Wikileaks before, has been found guilty of breaching Switzerland's strict bank laws. Judge Sebastian Aeppli has imposed a fine of 7,200 Swiss francs ($7,506), which was suspended for two years and no jail time.

Elmer was accused of stealing information from clients then trying to extort money from his employers after they fired him. He denied charges of blackmail and a bomb threat against Julius Baer, as alleged by prosecutors, but admitted sending confidential bank data to tax authorities.

Mr. Elmer was found guilty of making a “threat, several counts of attempted duress and multiple counts of breaking banking secrecy,” Judge Sebastian Aeppli said today. The prosecution had asked he be sentenced to eight months in jail. Elmer was found guilty of sending death threats via e-mail to Christoph Hiestand, an employee in the bank’s legal department.

Judge Sebastian Aeppli said “The gravest crime is not the breach of banking secrecy, but the threats against Mr. Hiestand”.

Judge Sebastian Aeppli acquitted Rudolf Elmer on charges that he made a bomb threat to the bank's headquarters and sought $50,000 for returning client data to former employer Julius Baer.

Elmer told reporters after the hearing “It wasn’t revenge, but I defended myself, I’ve made mistakes in this whole story, big mistakes. I’m neither a hero nor am I a traitor.”

Mr. Assange said Wikileaks will publish the information from Elmer within weeks, once it has been checked.

WikiLeaks has been condemned by the U.S. government for posting thousands of classified diplomatic communications and military documents to its website, including a video of a July 2007 helicopter attack in Iraq that killed a Reuters television cameraman and his driver.

1 comment:

  1. Julian assange should not negotiate with blackmailers and should release the information about corrupt people (and indians) stashing their money away in swiss bank accounts