Yahoo!Finance reports Ex-Swiss banker to hand account files to WikiLeaks.
A former Swiss banker was on Monday due to hand over files to WikiLeaks which he alleges detail attempts by wealthy business leaders and lawmakers to evade tax payments.
Rudolf Elmer, a former employee of Swiss-based Bank Julius Baer, told Britain’s Observer newspaper on Sunday that the documents include details of about 2,000 accounts held in offshore financial centers. He says the account holders include “high net worth” celebrities, business leaders and lawmakers from the U.S., Britain and Asia.
Elmer’s press conference comes two days before he is due to appear before a Zurich regional court to answer charges of coercion and violating Switzerland’s strict banking secrecy laws.
He told the Observer newspaper he planned to disclose the new set of files to expose activities in offshore financial centers. “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,” he was quoted as telling the newspaper.
Fox News has a few additional quotes in Ex-banker says he’s giving Wikileaks files on rich
Rudolf Elmer, an ex-employee of Swiss-based Bank Julius Baer, said there were 2,000 account holders named in the documents, but refused to give details of the companies or individuals involved.
He has previously offered files to WikiLeaks on financial activities in the Cayman Islands and faces a court hearing in Zurich on Wednesday to answer charges of coercion and violating Switzerland’s strict banking secrecy laws.
“I do think as a banker I have the right to stand up if something is wrong,” said Elmer, who addressed reporters at London’s Frontline Club alongside WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
“I am against the system. I know how the system works and I know the day-to-day business. From that point of view, I wanted to let society know what I know. It is damaging our society,” Elmer said.
Britain’s tax authority declined to comment when asked about Assange’s plan to supply details of alleged wrongdoing.
Under the terms of his release on bail, Assange must live at the mansion home of Vaughan Smith, the owner of the Frontline Club. He has compared the regime to “high-tech house arrest,” but has recently promised that the flow of leaked documents published by his organization would increase.
If true, and depending who is on the list, this could get interesting in a hurry. So far however, we have seen very little from Wikileaks since the house arrest of Assange.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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