Switzerland’s Federal High Court today confirmed a lower court ruling, finding that Rudolf Elmer did not violate Swiss banking secrecy laws when he revealed information about offshore banking tax avoidance schemes.
Breaking bank secrecy is a criminal matter in Switzerland that carries a penalty of up to three years in jail.
[Cross-posted from Whistleblowing Today.]
The high court rejected Zurich prosecutors’ appeal and proposed jail sentence, but left standing a suspended sentence for “forging documents and threatening Julius Baer following his dismissal,” charges Elmer has denied.
Elements of the dispute between Mr. Elmer and Julius Baer resemble a spy thriller. He said that Julius Baer had him followed by private investigators in Zurich and that superiors told him “it might be a good idea to go for a deep dive in the sea” — assertions that the bank denies.
“Reporting a crime in Switzerland is a crime,” Elmer says, and leads to “social, professional, and financial death.
His story is told in greater detail in a German film and on his personal website, at https://www.rudolfelmer.com/ .