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Whistleblower trial halted as defendant collapses

The trial of an ex-banker accused of breaching Swiss banking secrecy laws by handing over confidential data about offshore clients to WikiLeaks was stopped on Wednesday after the defendant collapsed. Rudolf Elmer, a former senior executive at Julius Baer, fainted outside the courtroom in Zurich after earlier complaining of a headache. The 59-year-old, who denies the charges, was taken to hospital by ambulance. A spokesman for the court said it was unclear when the trial would resume. The former banker has been under investigation since 2011 for giving WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange two compact discs during a news conference in London. Elmer said at the time they contained confidential data on about 2,000 offshore banking clients, but on Wednesday he told the court they were empty. Elmer, who has previously described himself as a “Gandhi of Swiss tax law” and said he wants to draw attention to financial abuses, was charged in July. He could face up to ... Show more

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