Saturday, February 19, 2011

Rudolf Elmer Appeal Turned Down

By Jerry Smith Feb 19 2011

Former Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer has had one of his appeals turned down according to his lawyer Ganden Tethong, a partner at law firm Tethong Blattner.

Tethong said:
"The Court of Appeals of the Canton of Zurich dismissed the appeal of Rudolf Elmer against the decision of the Court responsible for Coercive Measures dated January 22, 2011. Rudolf Elmer will therefore remain in custody for the time being."

Tethong also said:
"We are currently reassessing the court's ruling and discussing possible further steps."

"We are waiting for the prosecution to give their verdict on the information they have gathered. The legal procedure is different in Switzerland to the UK and US. It could be weeks, months, or even years before they present their findings to the court."

Tethong said in a press release that:
“The parties were informed of the court’s ruling this afternoon. In its decision, the court held that there is probable cause to arrest Mr Elmer, there is danger of collusion, and in conclusion it granted remand.”
On Monday Jan. 17 at the Frontline Club in London, Rudolf Elmer handed Julian Assange two CDs of documents. Prosecutors are investigating Elmer for possible breaches of banking secrecy laws in the handover of discs on Monday.

Elmer was arrested at his home on Wednesday Jan.19. Earlier that Wednesday Elmer had been convicted of sending death threats via e-mail to Christoph Hiestand, an employee in the bank’s legal department, several counts of attempted duress and multiple counts of breaking banking secrecy. Elmer received a sentence of a fine of 7,200 Swiss francs ($7,506), which was suspended for two years and payable only if he offends again in the next two years and no jail time.

Elmer said the CDs contained details of rich individuals who use offshore accounts to avoid paying tax. He also claims the account holders include "high net worth" celebrities, business leaders and lawmakers from the United States, Britain and Asia.

The Zurich cantonal (state) police and state prosecutor said in a joint statement when they arrested Elmer:
"The state prosecutor's office is checking to see whether Rudolf Elmer has violated Swiss banking law by handing the CD over to WikiLeaks."

"As Elmer has made public outside of the criminal proceedings, bank customer data is apparently on the CDs. The attorney general's office is examining if Elmer via the transfer of the CDs to WikiLeaks made himself culpable of an act against the Swiss banking law."
Julian Assange has said that with WikiLeaks focused on other issues, such as the publication of its cache of about 250,000 diplomatic cables, it could be several weeks before Elmer's latest files are reviewed and posted on the WikiLeaks website.

Julius Baer said in an emailed statement:
"Evidently disgruntled and frustrated about unfulfilled career aspirations, Mr. Elmer exhibited behaviour that was detrimental and unacceptable for the bank, which led to termination of the employment relationship. After his demands (including financial compensation) in connection with the dismissal could not be satisfied, Mr. Elmer embarked in 2004 on a personal intimidation campaign and vendetta against Julius Baer."

"The aim of his activities was and is to discredit Julius Baer as well as clients in the eyes of the public. With this goal in mind, Elmer spread baseless accusations and passed on unlawfully acquired respectively retained documents to the media, and later also to WikiLeaks. To back up his campaign, he also used falsified documents and made death threats against employees."

"In 2005 the Swiss press reported on a CD containing data that reputedly related to Bank Julius Baer and was leaked to the media. Based on these reports, Julius Baer notified the regulatory authorities and filed a legal complaint against persons unknown. The official investigation also covered subsequent threats against the Bank and certain employees."
Swiss law forbids bankers from handing information on client accounts to tax authorities unless the client requests it.

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