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Swiss banker Elmer re-arrested over Wikileaks charges

Reporters surround former Swiss private banker Rudolf Elmer at the regional court in Zurich (19 Jan 2011)
Image caption Rudolf Elmer was re-arrested just hours after being found guilty of breaching secrecy laws

Swiss police have re-arrested a former banker on fresh charges of breaching bank secrecy laws by passing data to whistleblowers' website WikiLeaks.

Only hours earlier Rudolf Elmer was found guilty by a Zurich court of breaching another bank secrecy law.

Elmer, 55, was fined more than 6,000 Swiss francs ($6,250; £4,000) but escaped prosecution demands for a prison sentence.

He had said the leaks were to expose tax evasion by the rich.

"The state prosecutor's office is checking to see whether Rudolf Elmer has violated Swiss banking law by handing the CD over to WikiLeaks," the Zurich cantonal (state) police and prosecutor said in a joint statement on the latest arrest.

Earlier on Wednesday, a Zurich court found Elmer guilty of breaching banking secrecy on publicising private client data.

He was also found guilty of threatening an employee at his former bank, the Swiss firm Julius Baer.

Elmer said he first leaked private bank details about Baer clients to WikiLeaks three years ago.

He said on Monday that he had given fresh data to the website.

Julian Assange, WikiLeak's founder, said he will publish the new information within weeks, once it has been checked.

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