Whistle blower for WikiLeaks Elmer avoids prison

19 Jan 2011

A judge in a Swiss court has fined whistle-blower Rudolf Elmer 6,000 Swiss francs (€4,600) after finding him guilty today of breaking Swiss banking secrecy laws.

Judge Sebastian Aeppli rejected prosecution demands to sentence Elmer to eight months in prison.

The former banker who said he leaked details of rich tax evaders to whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks told the Zurich’s Regional Court during his one-day trial he acted after being persecuted by Julius Baer. The company fired Elmer in 2002.

Elmer, the former chief of the office of the Julius Baer Bank in the Cayman Islands, handed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday a couple of discs said to contain information on some 2,000 offshore banking clients.

Elmer also claimed to have wanted to expose widespread tax evasion by rich businesspeople and politicians when he sent confidential banking files to the media, tax authorities and WikiLeaks.