Rudolf Elmer, Swiss WikiLeaks banker, loses appeal

Rudolf Elmer at a press conference in Zurich 19 January

Zurich, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Rudolf Elmer, the former Bank Julius Baer employee who famously appeared with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks two days before his trial in Zurich for theft and threatening his former employer, has had one of his appeals turned down, his lawyer has told Swiss media in a press release.

He was convicted but given a suspended sentence 19 January for threats and theft, a lighter sentence than the prosecutor had demanded. He was then re-arrested within minutes on suspicion of breaking Switzerland’s banking secrecy laws, with which he was charged 22 January.

The appeal that was turned down 16 February was for the 19 January judgement, which did not cover banking secrecy.

He appealed, 27 January, his 22 January remand in custody for breaking bank secrecy laws by handing information to tax authorities, and this remains pending.

Elmer’s attorney, Ganden Tethong, noted in a press release 22 January 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; in conclusion
  • it granted remand.”

Switzerland’s law forbids bankers from handing data on client accounts to tax authorities unless done so at the client’s request.

Related stories in GenevaLunch:

Julius Baer nemesis reborn as Assange pal (17 January 2011)Rudolf Elmer arrested again over latest WikiLeaks handover (19 January 2011)

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