Wikileaks given data on Swiss bank accounts

LONDON. January 18. KAZINFORM A former Swiss banker has passed on data containing account details of 2,000 prominent people to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange; Kazinform refers to BBC News.

The data - which is not yet available on the Wikileaks website - was held on two discs handed over by Rudolf Elmer at a press conference in London.

Mr Assange promised full disclosure once the information had been vetted.

Mr Elmer is scheduled to go on trial in Switzerland on Wednesday for breaking bank secrecy laws.

The banker, who has given data to Wikileaks before, was fired from Swiss bank Julius Baer in 2002.

"Evidently disgruntled and frustrated about unfulfilled career aspirations, Mr. Elmer exhibited behaviour that was detrimental and unacceptable for the Bank, which led to termination of the employment relationship," the bank said in a statement sent to BBC News.

"After his demands (including financial compensation) in connection with the dismissal could not be satisfied, Mr. Elmer embarked in 2004 on a personal intimidation campaign and vendetta against Julius Baer," the statement read.

Serious Fraud Office

Although it was not confirmed what activities might be covered by the data Mr Elmer has passed on, the Wikileaks head noted that previous data from Julius Baer provided by Mr Elmer had shed light on tax evasion, the hiding of proceeds of criminal acts and "the protection of assets of those about to fall out of political favour".

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

"Once we have looked at the data... there will be full revelation," said Mr Assange, who is currently on bail and confined to the UK due to an extradition request from Sweden.

The Wikileaks founder has been accused of sexual misconduct by two women in Sweden, including having unprotected sex without consent - accusations he denies.

Speaking at the handover event at the Frontline Club, he said the data would be vetted before publication.

It was difficult to say how long this would take, he said, although he suggested it could be as little as two weeks.

The vetting would depend on the volume of information and how it was delegated, Mr Assange said.

Other groups - such as the Tax Justice Network or financial media outlets - might be asked to help in the vetting process, he added.

Mr Assange also said some information was likely to be handed over to the authorities - mentioning specifically the UK's Serious Fraud Office - as was the case with a previous leak concerning Icelandic banks; Kazinform cites BBC News.

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