* Elmer suspected of breaching Swiss bank law
* Ex-Julius Baer banker to appeal court's decision
(Adds details, background)
ZURICH, Jan 24 A Zurich court decided former
Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer should be held on remand after police
questioned him last week over possible breaches of Swiss bank
law, his defence lawyer's office said over the weekend.
Elmer would appeal the court's decision within 10 days, said
a statement dated Jan. 22 on the office of defence lawyer Ganden
Elmer was taken into custody by police on Wednesday evening
after he handed over computer discs to WikiLeaks earlier last
week. The former Julius Baer BAER.VX banker indicated the CDs
contained details of as many as 2,000 offshore bank accounts.
In a separate case earlier on Wednesday, Elmer was convicted
of breaching strict banking secrecy by passing on private client
data to the tax authorities and of threatening employees at his
former company. He has already appealed this verdict.
Switzerland's secrecy in the banking sector helped the
country build a $2-trillion wealth management industry but the
laws have come under intense global attack in recent years, with
neighbouring Germany buying secret data from informants to track
down tax evaders.
Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblower site WikiLeaks
attacked Switzerland on Sunday for arresting Elmer instead of
investigating the tax evasion he said Elmer had uncovered.
Swiss media have speculated that the data Elmer handed to
WikiLeaks on Wednesday concerned Julius Baer operations in the
Cayman Islands, where Elmer had headed its operations, and are
therefore not covered by laws protecting Swiss banking secrecy.
(Reporting by Jason Rhodes and Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by