Zurich: Swiss black money whistleblower Rudolf Elmer has told NDTV that India can ask for fresh information on its citizens from the data he leaked in 2008 from a bank in Cayman Islands that he worked for.
- Rudolf Elmer said his data on tax evaders includes Indian names
- He accessed the data as an employee of a subsidiary of Julius Bar bank
- He was suspected to have handed over two CDs of data to WikiLeaks in 2008
On Tuesday, Mr Elmer was handed a delayed sentence of 14 months for forgery and threats but was cleared of charges of violating banking secrecy. Prosecutors failed to procure 4.5 years of jail for breach of banking secrecy and an occupational ban on him.
Speaking to NDTV on the phone from Zurich, Mr Elmer said his data on tax evaders includes Indian names and can be accessed by New Delhi.
The whistleblower says his data has information on tax evaders, corrupt politicians and criminals from several countries. "It's not only Americans, but also people from Africa, South America, also India," he said.
Swiss courts have access to the data, he said, and it was also shared with German authorities.
Mr Elmer accessed the data as an employee of a subsidiary of Julius Bar bank in Cayman Islands. He was suspected to have handed over two CDs of data to whistleblower website WikiLeaks at a press conference held in London along with Julian Assange - the website's founder - in 2011. But Swiss prosecutors were unable to prove that the CDs contained any data.
Mr Elmer's defence team argued that he was not working for a Swiss bank but a financial institution in Cayman Islands where Swiss banking secrecy laws do not apply and that he disclosed information that he had access to and not by stealing.
The Zurich court found him guilty of forging a letter from the bank to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, offering information on tax evaders. Mr Elmer was also found guilty of sending threats to his former employer. The whistleblower claims he and his family were stalked by the bank and he threatened to share the data with authorities if the harassment didn't stop.
Mr Elmer has been facing trials in Switzerland for nearly a decade. Swiss prosecutors will have a month to appeal the verdict in the highest court after the written verdict is issued.