Bank secrecy laws

Swiss open new probe against banker Rudolf Elmer

Swiss police have arrested a banker who claims to have handed details of rich tax cheats to WikiLeaks.

Rudolf Elmer was arrested late on Wednesday shortly a Zurich court found him guilty of coercion and breaking Switzerland's strict bank secrecy laws in an earlier case.

"He is in police detention and will be questioned today," Zurich chief prosecutor Peter Pellegrini told The Associated Press.

Pellegrini said the new probe centres on Elmer's trip to London on Monday, at which the former Julius Baer banker gave two data CDs to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Elmer says he is trying to expose a widespread system of tax evasion by rich businesspeople and politicians using offshore branches of Swiss banks.

In the earlier case, Elmer was handed a fine of over 6,000 Swiss francs ($A6,268), payable if he offends again in the next two years.

(Published by Herald Sun - January 21, 2011)

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