A former banker scheduled to stand trial for breaking Swiss bank secrecy laws handed over two CDs with bank records of 2,000 people that might reveal tax evasion, to WikiLeaks.
The data was given to WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange during a public event at the Frontline Club and will pass through the organization's normal vetting process before being published.
Assange said that this could take up to two weeks and that financial media outlets and other organizations might be invited to participate.
The man who provided the information is named Rudolf Elmer and was the chief operating officer at the Cayman Islands branch of a large Swiss bank called Julius Baer, until he was fired in 2002.
Elmer has provided information about the banking activities of prominent individuals to WikiLeaks before, which led to accusations of tax evasion for some of them. He is set to go on trial in Switzerland on Wednesday is connection with his previous leaks.
The new data given to WikiLeaks was given to Elmer by confidential sources inside the Swiss banking industry and concerns wealthy people from multiple countries, including UK, Germany and US.
It covers a period of nineteen years, between 1990 and 2009. "I'm against the system. I know how the system works. [...] I am taking the responsibility for this
," Elmer said at the handover event.
He also claimed that he was offered money and was promised that charges against him would be dropped if he kept silent.
Meanwhile, Julius Baer claims that Elmer is on a personal vendetta against the bank because his career aspirations were not fulfilled.
"The aim of his activities was and is to discredit Julius Baer as well as clients in the eyes of the public,
" the bank said in the statement, according to the BBC
"Mr Elmer spread baseless accusations and passed on unlawfully acquired respectively retained documents to the media, and later also to Wikileaks. To back up his campaign, he also used falsified documents and made death threats against employees
," it added.
WikiLeaks is also preparing to release a large cache of documents expected to reveal unethical practices at a large US bank, rumored
to be Bank of America.