WikiLeaks will probably not release any sensitive information it obtains from Swiss bank renegade Rudolf Elmer, according to press reports citing WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange and others sources connected to Elmer.
On Monday in London, Elmer, the former head of the Julius Baer Bank in Cayman Islands, provided Assange with discs that he said contained account of information on about 2,000 clients, including politicians and other wealthy individuals. Speculation ran rampant that tax evasion and other financial improprieties would be uncovered in this treasure trove of files.
However, at that London conference Assange had cautioned that the material provided by Elmer would be vetted as any other data WikiLeaks received. He further noted that it “could be weeks, it could be longer before any of it is released to the public.
According to Reuters, sources indicate that the massive amount of data is very dense, convoluted, not self-explanatory, making it difficult to identify account holders or the various relationships between financial institutions and their clients.
Assange previously noted that WikiLeaks might submit some of the material to British authorities who investigate financial fraud.
However, once the data is finally released and prominent individuals are connected to illegal acts like offshore tax evasion, the impact upon the Swiss banking community – the paragon of privacy – could be huge.
Paula Schaap, in HedgeFund.net, wrote “the idea that someone would leak what has heretofore been considered the ultimate in privacy -- Swiss bank accounts -- could do damage to investor confidence and the Swiss banking industry.”