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Elmer trial highlights whistleblowing dilemma

The Swiss whistleblowing debate has ratcheted up a few notches with Wednesday’s court appearance of notorious former banker Rudolf Elmer accused of violating banking secrecy as well as proposed new laws to prevent informants going to the media with their concerns. Former Julius Bär employee Elmer could get up to four and half years behind bars if found guilty of illegally handing over client data to the Wikileaks campaigning website. In 2011, Elmer – dubbed the “Robin Hood” of Swiss banking by some media – was given a suspended fine for breaking bank secrecy laws. But days before that trial he defiantly, and publically, handed over more data to Wikileaks, leading to his further arrest and now a second court hearing. Elmer was not paid by Wikileaks, but has embarked on a crusade to expose what he claims are the immoral activities of some Swiss banks. His court cases are vehicles for drawing public attention to his message: that his former employer allegedly set up ... Show more

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