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Rudolf Elmer, former Swiss banker, fined $20,000 for giving Wikileaks tax data

A former private banker found has been found guilty in Switzerland of breaking the country's strict secrecy laws by passing confidential client data to WikiLeaks in 2007.
Rudolf Elmer, right, says he was trying to expose rich tax evaders when he leaked data to Julian Assange's organization. (Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press)

A former private banker found has been found guilty in Switzerland of breaking the country's strict secrecy laws by passing confidential client data to WikiLeaks in 2007.

Rudolf Elmer claims he was trying to expose rich tax evaders banking with his former employer, Julius Baer, which fired him in 2002.

Elmer's lawyer, Ganden Tethong, says Zurich's district court also found her client guilty of forging a document purporting to be a letter from the bank to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The court handed Elmer a 16,800 Swiss francs (a little over $20,000 Canadian) fine Monday, and suspended him for three years. Prosecutors had demanded a 3 1/2-year prison sentence.

Tethong says she was appealing the verdict along with an earlier sentence in a related case.

Elmer's documents contributed to pressure on Switzerland to relax banking secrecy.

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