Rudolf Elmer

2011-09-14 Rudolf Elmer interview with India Today

In his first interview since being released from jail, Rudolf Elmer stated to India Today that:

- the investigation against him is still ongoing, and that he could not make any detailed statements because he would be arrested again.

- the CDs he handed over to Julian Assange in the Frontline Club were empty. He also said that it was only a symbolic handover, because it was a public place, and because the police could have intervened. He also said that Assange would not have come, had there not been information.

- that he would not have been released from prison had any data been published.

- that he cannot answer whether any Indian names are on a list he allegedly gave to Assange, as the investigation against him was still ongoing.

- it is possible to keep money out of reach of tax authorities. He also describes how this could be done, in hypothesis.

- that he cannot comment on whether any Indian cricket players have Swiss bank accounts because his investigation is still ongoing.

- that private investigators put pressure on him and his family, including his six year old daughter.

- that he filed a complaint at the European Court of Human Rights.

- that he will appear in court in November.

- that Assange protected him and his family. This statement was made in reply to a question whether there was a deal between Assange and the courts that Assange will not publish the data.

WL Central cannot verify these claims. The above is merely a summary of some key points in this interview. For our previous coverage of the topic please see this link.

2011-08-14 Reports: Rudolf Elmer released from custody

Swiss online portal reports that Rudolf Elmer has been released from custody, quoting Swiss weekly Der Sonntag and Corinne Bouvard, the spokesperson of Zürich prosecutor's office, as sources. He is said to have left Winterthur prison on the 25th of July and to be on vacation in Greece. Bouvard refused to comment on whether the investigation was continuing.

Elmer had been held on remand without charge since the 19th of January, which grossly exceeds the average detention period of 56 days. He was arrested upon return from a London press conference, where he handed two CDs to Wikileaks' Julian Assange, claiming they contain evidence of tax evasion. In mid July, Elmer changed his story, stating these CDs were in fact empty. His detention was extended nonetheless.

Yesterday, German daily newspaper Süddeutsche published an article on an essay by Rudolf Elmer, which it had recently obtained. It was written over the past months, and Elmer was prevented from passing it on to others by the prosecutor. Elmer's lawyer refused to comment on whether Elmer was still in jail when the essay reached the newspaper.

In the essay, Elmer criticizes a new agreement between Germany and Switzerland on tax evaders, stating that it would only punish the middle and lower classes. The agreement, which is currently being ratified, is in effect an amnesty for Germans with Swiss bank accounts not declared to the German tax authorities.

2011-04-15 Supreme Court decides that Elmer's allegations against Baer have to be investigated

ImageFollowing a lengthy legal battle, Zurich prosecutors now have to look into claims that in 2004 Julius Baer hired private investigators to intimidate and harass Rudolf Elmer and his family. So far, only Elmer himself and the alleged perpetrators had been heard. According to the Supreme Court verdict, prosecutors now have to interview Elmer's neighbours as witnesses.

Elmer says that he forwarded data on Julius Baer to Wikileaks in 2008, and in January 2011 he handed over two CDs to Julian Assange at a London press conference. He was subsequently sentenced for violating bank confidentiality in January 2011. He was also found guilty of intimidating and threatening Julius Baer employees. He appealed the decision.

Read more on NZZ.

2011-01-17 Press conference at Frontline with Rudolf Elmer and Julian Assange

This morning at the Frontline club, Rudolf Elmer handed over to Julian Assange a set of CDs containing leaked banking materials for 2,000 offshore bank accounts. As we reported on Sunday, "[d]details on the CD's ... include information on business people, approximately 40 politicians, people who have made their living in the arts and multinational conglomerates, from US, Britain, Germany, Austria, Asia" and other currently undisclosed locations. The context of today's press conference, as well as Elmer's previously expressed motivations, can be found here.

Elmer clarified his position as a banker who "has the right" to prevent further "damage to society" by taking steps to inform the public of ongoing unethical activities. He expressed his gratitude to Wikileaks, which he described as a tool that allowed him to tell the people what he thinks "society has a right to know."

2011-01-16 Swiss Whistleblower to leak bank documents to WikiLeaks two days before trial

Rudolf Elmer, the founder of Swiss Whistleblower who we wrote about here is in the news again. He will return to Switzerland to appear in court on January 19, where he will face charges of stealing banking information. Two days earlier he will be at the Frontline Club in London to present Wikileaks with CD's containing the offshore bank account details of 2,000 "high net worth individuals" and corporations.

Elmer told the Observer that the details on the CD's will include information on business people, approximately 40 politicians, people who have made their living in the arts and multinational conglomerates, from US, Britain, Germany, Austria, Asia, and all over.

Elmer, says he is releasing the information "in order to educate society". He is concerned about the wealthy individuals and multinationals who use banking secrecy to hide possibly criminal activities such as tax evasion.

"What I am objecting to is not one particular bank, but a system of structures, I have worked for major banks other than Julius Baer, and the one thing on which I am absolutely clear is that the banks know, and the big boys know, that money is being secreted away for tax-evasion purposes, and other things such as money-laundering – although these cases involve tax evasion."

"I agree with privacy in banking for the person in the street, and legitimate activity, but in these instances privacy is being abused so that big people can get big banking organisations to service them. The normal, hard-working taxpayer is being abused also.

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