Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Speaking of WikiLeaks and Banks

A former Swiss banker has passed on documents allegedly detailing tax evasion attempts by hundreds of business leaders, politicians and celebrities to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.


Elmer has said the information includes details on politicians, multinational companies and financial institutions from the United States, Europe and Asia, all secretly avoiding paying tax.

"I do think as a banker I have the right to stand up if something is wrong," Elmer said, addressing reporters at London's Frontline Club, alongside Assange.


The right? I think you have the duty.

"I am against the system. I know how the system works and I know the day-to-day business. From that point of view, I wanted to let society know what I know. It is damaging our society."

Yeah, when did you suddenly get a conscience?

Assange promised "full revelation" of the data, but said it would be weeks before any of the information could be checked and published by the WikiLeaks website.

Vetting will be done by Wikileaks, media organisations and other partners in order to protect sources, Assange said.

At least he didn’t say, due to a blockade on funds, they won’t be published.

[Elmer] faces a court hearing in Zurich on Wednesday to answer charges of coercion and violating Switzerland's strict banking secrecy laws.

He has said he wants to call attention to offshore financial abuses and promote WikiLeaks as a mechanism for other whistleblowers to air their stories.

But his former employer has hit back, claiming Elmer, who the bank fired in 2002, has other motives.

Well, of course.

"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 bank said in a statement.

You mean, it’s not a conscience? It’s a vendetta? That’s more plausible. But I’ll take the information, either way.

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