WikiLeaks gets 2000 Swiss bank A/C details

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 11:18

London: Names of 2,000 secret Swiss
account holders, including individuals and corporates from
Asia, US and Britain, were on Monday handed over by a former Swiss
banker to WikiLeaks for being made public.

There was no indication whether any Indian account
holder figure in the list since WikiLeaks founder Julian
Assange who received the two discs containing the documents
said that he would make it public in the future.

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

Assange, fighting cases to extradite him to Sweden to
face sex charges, appeared alongside Elmer said he will expose
attempts by these business leaders, corporations and lawmakers
to evade tax payments.

"We will treat this information like all other
information we get," Assange said. "There will be a full
revelation."

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

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

He said the files being handed over to whistle-blower
site WikiLeaks exposed activities in offshore financial
centres.

At the press briefing, Assange said that, with his
organisation focussed on the publication of its cache of about
250,000 diplomatic cables, it could be several weeks before
Elmer`s files are reviewed and posted in the WikiLeaks
website.

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

"I want to let society know how this system works," he
said. "It`s damaging society."

The banker released the files two days before he is
due to appear before a Zurich regional court to answer charges
of coercion and violating Switzerland`s strict banking secrecy
laws.

Elmer said he would not reveal what specifically was
in the documents, and would not disclose "individual companies
or individual names" of the account holders.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 11:18

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