UPDATE 1-Ex-Swiss banker found guilty in WikiLeaks trial, avoids jail

lunes 19 de enero de 2015 08:49 GYT

* Former Julius Baer banker given suspended fine

* Prosecution had sought prison sentence

* Found guilty of passing on confidential information in 2008 (Adds detail, comment from Elmer's lawyer)

By Joshua Franklin

ZURICH, Jan 19 (Reuters) - A former Julius Baer banker found guilty on Monday of breaching Swiss banking secrecy laws by handing over data about offshore clients to WikiLeaks will avoid jail time.

The trial of Rudolf Elmer, 59, a self-described "Gandhi of Swiss tax law", comes as banking secrecy in Switzerland is crumbling under international pressure from countries trying to recoup lost tax revenue.

The former senior executive at Zurich-based Baer's Cayman Islands office was accused of passing confidential information to WikiLeaks on two occasions, one in 2008 and another in 2011.

Elmer was found guilty of the charges relating to 2008 but not guilty in relation to 2011. He was also found guilty of forging a letter from Baer to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2007.

He was ordered to pay costs towards the trial and was given a three-year suspended fine of up to 45,000 Swiss francs ($51,880). The prosecution had sought a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence, while Elmer's lawyer Ganden Tethong had argued for her client to be acquitted.   Continuación...