Assange condemns arrest of Swiss banker Elmer

The founder of the internet whistleblower site WikiLeaks has criticised Switzerland for detaining a Swiss banker on suspicion of breaching banking secrecy.

This content was published on January 24, 2011 - 09:23 and agencies

Julian Assange told the Sonntag newspaper that Switzerland’s actions were drawing renewed international attention to its banking practices after the detention of former Bank Julius Bär employee Rudolf Elmer.

“Mr Elmer is in prison because he has revealed a criminal offshore system of tax evasion in which Swiss banks play a leading role,” Assange is quoted as saying. He argued that the authorities should rather be investigating the tax evasion claim.

It was confirmed on Saturday that the authorities had placed him under investigative detention. A judge is to decide on Monday whether to prolong this.

Elmer, who was given a suspended fine on Wednesday after being found guilty of threatening his former employer, is to appeal against the decision.

He was re-arrested in Zurich hours after his court appearance on suspicion of violating banking laws by handing over two CDs to WikiLeaks in London on Monday.

Elmer claims they contain details of around 2,000 offshore bank accounts.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Sort by

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.