Swiss court clears ex-banker who gave secrets to WikiLeaks



<pSwitzerland's high court has upheld the acquittal of a former bank accountant who handed over confidential client information to WikiLeaks, ruling Wednesday he wasn’t bound by the country’s strict banking secrecy laws at the time.

<pThe Federal Tribunal validated a ruling by Zurich's regional supreme court in the case of Rudolf Elmer, a former top accountant at a Cayman Islands affiliate of Swiss bank Julius Baer who was fired in 2002.

<pThe tribunal agreed that because Elmer had been an employee of the affiliate, he wasn't bound by Swiss banking secrecy laws when he gave the information to WikiLeaks in 2008.

<pThe secret-busting group went public with the information in 2011. The case increased pressure on Switzerland to relax its strict banking secrecy rules.

<pThe tribunal upheld Elmer's convictions on other charges, including attempted coercion and forgery, which involved a document purporting to be a letter from the bank to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.