Bloomberg, 17 January 2010
WikiLeaks plans to release data on about 2,000 cross-border bank accounts provided by a former Julius Baer Group Ltd. employee, who says they may have been set up to evade taxes.
Rudolf Elmer, who was dismissed as chief operating officer by Julius Baer Bank & Trust Company Ltd. in the Cayman Islands in December 2002, handed over the information today, including data on 40 politicians, to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
“There will be a full revelation,” Assange told reporters today in London, adding that the data will take at least two weeks to check and disseminate. Elmer “is a whistleblower and he has important things to say,” he said.
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“I was an expert in the offshore business,” Elmer told reporters at the meeting. “I am against the system. I want to let society know what I do know, and how this system works, because it’s damaging society.”
Elmer will be tried on Jan. 19 in Zurich, charged with several counts of attempted duress, including threats to Julius Baer and its employees, as well as breaching Switzerland’s banking secrecy laws.
The former employee “embarked in 2004 on a personal intimidation campaign and vendetta against Julius Baer,” the Zurich-based bank said in a statement. “He also used falsified documents and made death threats against employees.”
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