Swiss banker gives secret documents of super rich to WikiLeaks

Written by: Pti
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London, Jan 17 (PTI) A former Swiss banker todayhanded over documents of 2,000 high net worth people from US,Britain and Asia to WikiLeaks that he claims would exposeattempts by these business leaders and lawmakers to evade taxpayments.

Rudolf Elmer, a former employee of Swiss-based BankJulius Baer, said the account holders include celebrities,business leaders and lawmakers.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, fighting cases toextradite him to Sweden to face sex charges, appearedalongside Elmer to say that they would make these documents,contained in two discs, public in the future.

According to a report in Swiss newspaper Der Sonntag,the data covers multinationals, financial firms and wealthyindividuals from many countries, including the UK, US andGermany, and covers the period 1990-2009.

"The one thing on which I am absolutely clear is thatthe banks know, and the big boys know, that money is beingsecreted away for tax evasion purposes," Elmer told Observernewspaper.

He said the files being handed over to whistle-blowersite WikiLeaks exposed activities in offshore financialcentres.

At the press briefing, Assange said that, with hisorganisation focussed on the publication of its cache of about250,000 diplomatic cables, it could be several weeks beforeElmer''s files are reviewed and posted in the WikiLeakswebsite.

"We will treat this information like all otherinformation we get," Assange said. "There will be a fullrevelation."

The Swiss banker has previously leaked bankingdocuments to the secret-spilling site and told journaliststhat he wanted to expose the offshore banking system.

"I want to let society know how this system works," hesaid. "It''s damaging society."

The banker released the files two days before he isdue to appear before a Zurich regional court to answer chargesof coercion and violating Switzerland''s strict banking secrecylaws.

Elmer said he would not reveal what specifically wasin the documents, and would not disclose "individual companiesor individual names" of the account holders.

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