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

Swiss online portal Persoenlich.com 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.

This agreement between the Swiss and German government has been criticised by German police who recently bought a CD containing details of illegal accounts at a major Swiss bank. The name of the bank has not been released. The investigation is said to be advanced, with prosecutors already planning raids.

What a surprise....not!

The German/Swiss agreement would logically follow the American/Swiss agreement model. In the Am/Swiss disclosure of approx. 4500 account records, I seem to remember that the largest was about $3 millions with most far smaller. Obviously, secret bank accounts and tax evasion are only suitable for drug dealers and mega millionaires. Common folk are hung on the clothes line for decoration.

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