* Former banker Elmer held for passing data to WikiLeaks
* Elmer, defence lawyers considering further steps
ZURICH, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Swiss ex-banker turned whistleblower Rudolph Elmer has lost his appeal against a court ruling remanding him in prison over possible breaches of Swiss banking secrecy, a lawyer representing Elmer said on Wednesday.
Elmer was taken into custody by police on Jan. 19 after handing over computer discs to WikiLeaks two days earlier. The former Julius Baer BAER.VX banker indicated the CDs contained details of as many as 2,000 offshore bank accounts.
“The Court of Appeals of the Canton of Zurich dismissed the appeal of Mr Rudolf Elmer against the decision of the Court responsible for Coercive Measures dated January 22, 2001. Mr Rudolf Elmer will therefore remain in custody for the time being,” said a statement from the law firm Tethong Blattner, which is representing Elmer.
“Mr Elmer and his defence counsel are currently reassessing the court’s ruling and discussing possible further steps,” the law firm said.
In a separate case earlier on Jan. 19, 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 that verdict. [ID:nLDE70J1RI] (Reporting by Jason Rhodes; editing by Philippa Fletcher)