HSBC whistleblower based in Spain has court case adjourned

HSBC whistleblower Herve Falciani.

A SPANISH-BASED ex-employee of HSBC Private Bank in Geneva has had his trial adjourned after he did not appear at the Federal Criminal Court in Ticino, Switzerland on Monday, October 13.

Herve Falciani was working in IT for HSBC when he released data about thousands of people suspected of tax evasion. 

The charges surround data copied by the whistleblower connected to 130,000 suspected tax evaders and accounts at HSBC of hundreds of millions of dollars. He is said to have copied private account information between 2006 and 2008 before making the data publicly available between 2008 and 2014.

Now living in Spain, Falciani, 43, decided not to attend the Swiss court to defend himself against the violation of banking secrecy laws in Switzerland.

Falciani had previously indicated that he would not appear at the court hearing and has also refused to attend another, due to take place on November 2.

The charges he faces in Switzerland include economic espionage, unauthorised data procurement and the breaching of Swiss banking secrecy laws.

Falciani left Switzerland at the end of 2008 and hasn’t been back to the country since then. He was arrested in Barcelona in 2012 and was subsequently released by authorities in Spain who didn’t accept an extradition request from Switzerland.

Amongst tax evaders said to be under investigation as a result of Falciani’s information are Arlette Ricci, 73, of Nina Ricci perfume and the Spanish banker, Emilio Bottin.

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