Former Swiss banker found guilty in WikiLeaks trial, avoids jail

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 19, 2015 3:55 AM

ZURICH (Reuters) - A former Julius Baer banker was found guilty on Monday of breaching Swiss banking secrecy laws by handing over data about offshore clients to WikiLeaks, but will avoid jail time.

Rudolf Elmer, 59, a former senior executive at Zurich-based Baer's Cayman Islands' office, was accused of passing confidential information to WikiLeaks on two occasions, one in late 2007 or early 2008 and another in 2011.

He was found guilty in the former case but not guilty in the latter. Elmer was ordered to pay costs towards the trial and was given a suspended fine. The prosecution was seeking a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence for Elmer.

He was also found not guilty of breaching secrecy laws when he attempted to pass confidential client files to then-German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck in 2009. Elmer was found guilty of forging a letter from Julius Baer to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2007.

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(Reporting by Joshua Franklin; Editing by Toby Chopra)