tv Worlds Apart RT November 16, 2017 11:30pm-12:01am EST
licky has by now into full blown weapon of mass destruction practiced as early as it is denounced at a time when digging and releasing sense a different from ation is to prefer a political tactic is there still room for chani and whistle blowing to discuss that i'm now joined by rudolf elmer a former banker turned tax haven whistleblower mr elmer it's good to talk to you thank you very much for your time. now back in the early two thousand when you tried to share with the public some of the compromising material on the practices of your former employer that it was a fairly rare thing to do but now these everybody's laking usually for self-serving purposes but. also saying that it is for the good of the public why do you think this phenomenon of flicking has caught on to such an extent. there is
a public interest in it in general. it's also interest from a money point of view. in respect off. let's say increase. the newspapers but there is also a interest in respect of power i mean. the powerful organizations and people like to money pull a. society with information. it tests changed in that respect that. main industry or can use information make it public for instance as i did with e.q. leaks and talk to the world so there is a inflation information which definitely needs to be looked at it very carefully what is true what is fake as much money palatial going on and
people that means me have to be aware of it ok and mr o'mara i'm sure you would agree with me that the accusations of attempted many placed on a flying both ways and you know to illustrate that i just want to mention that there was a an article in the atlantic magazine recently which referred to wiki leaks the organization that you cooperated with as a radical transparency organization i found this phrasing very interesting i know you have your differences with wiki leaks but just as a matter of principle do you believe that there is such a thing as transparency radicalism or perhaps even transparency extremism yes there is. i still believe that certain information shouldn't go public we still have to. respect privacy off. people on organization. it is really
a matter all of you see it in the public interest. that the public interest is more important that they even trust all company. to keep the information. away from the public. that's that's that's that's important to do value with that. information how it gets public and what sort of information gets public but speaking about we kill leaks do you think they they could be indeed accused of being too radical in that quest for transparency he do think so i mean leaks of you have to look at it fundamentally they key leaks is a or used to be a platform to provide information i know mostly and it is made public weiqi leaks has changed the last few years and i do understand from
a studio us us point of view that the house of personal issue with the united states. i do think he because it's personally issues it becomes a kind of bias. so therefore that information which is published for instance into trump case that he had contact with. the junior trump. confuses me totally because it really has to be independent information and information rich is provided by sources not kind of used for making public using the tool. which is an important tool. a political instrument to influence. elections wherever in the world well mr elmer is not only julian assange has issues with the united states it's the united states which has issues with julian assange so it's not only mutual day i
think rely on a fridge or similar tactics take for example the atlantic piece that i already mentioned it's full of contempt for wiki leaks and its mode of operation but on the other hand the whole narrative is based on the leaked i suppose initially confidential message exchange between the regulator junior is that a fair game now reserving the right of privacy and leaks for yourselves but denying them to your opponent. yes. that's very confusing and i don't think that's the way it should work at all because it's basically a that platform and it's in my view an issue about to be critics itself that it to stop that sort of practice at least to remain. independent otherwise it's just like call it a tabloid press and you took an issue with that after as they were leaks efforts to
reach out to. junior but i know you also had difficulties with getting the media and the authorities interested in the in the kind of information you were hoping to provide how else would you try to build those relationships because from what i know from what it was written actually we can leaks also tried to. price count with releasing its own sound city of data so that supposedly would also be in the public interest always. into public interest but we can leak safely if. that's what it's known that. the requested tax forms are provided to a.q. leaks and they really publish the information already that step shows a kind of being bias being is playing an active role in my view.
i believe in my case i actually try to solve the issue with the authorities in switzerland with the swiss texas authorities with the courts and when i learned that that doesn't work that the legal system doesn't work that and i said look i have to take it to a high of a level higher level it's definitely. up to us and we keep leaks these internal e-mail contact which was published by. leaks on hillary clinton that sort of thing first of all should have actually be handled internally first from what i know it was handled internally we now know from the revelations by donna brazil the interim had of did they didn't see that there was in fact a secret agreement between the clinton camp and the party's leadership financial agreement long before she was pronounced the nominee so she herself suggested that
that was unethical but do you do you really believe that in the current climate that exists in the united states. hillary clinton could get just as fair of a trial as for example donald trump. as a matter of fact i don't believe that sort of thing it. we call it very politically driven. and to get a fair trial on that level. think it's not possible that i don't think i even think that trial will never happen because of one or the other way that trial will be stopped before it really starts speaking about how you handle this information because even after the don't know brazil's revelations there is virtually no discussion in the american the media on the actual substance on the content of agreement or those leaked e-mails and the argument from the clinton side is that
that information was. inappropriately acquired and therefore it should not be considered what is your take on do you think when you deal with issues like that do you think the information the case in point should be considered based on the content and possible public significance or simply based on how the information was a wasn't up to because we do not know full details as of now as we know today the. system doesn't really work at all in the sense of with banking information for instance the swiss bank secrecy. wasn't possible to provide came from to have to get information. on the legal way because for instance germany both c.d.'s and actually paid money for it so that the information was provided
illegally today system as a matter of fact and that's also on the political side it's close to impossible to legally open taping that information because you have to see the law made by parliament by. more or less by multinationals more or less by high net worth individuals and those laws actually back. themselves it's not the protection of the. man industry it's more a protection for themselves so the information which is obtained illegally that's the way to get the information out to the public all unfortunately we have to change the law so i mean i do believe in the democrat. in law. as. it is off today in
many states that's not possible well mr helmar for their record i also believe in democracy and the rule of law and i think one upside in this hall leaking and counter leaking saga would be that the only way to put an end to that is to conduct transparent efficient honest governance then you wouldn't have enough compromising material to leak do you think that is a possibility after all these debacle with the e-mail of county emails and so on and. it's who are a difficult to get a government there always interests. national interests however they are always to. to make that information available for society in a way that it's legal and i would say. we don't have any protection
for whistleblowers at all if you do have protection for we saw what was on in the public sector as well as in the private sector that information would have been can be made public and that actually puts pressure on the parliament to become more on this is in and do their business in favor off the public but. those whistleblowers are not to protect. they use no real. force there who requests for. or forces to parliament to look at. issue seriously i mean if you can say we three had looks leaks we had. leaks we have to paradise leaks slowly but surely the paul amends are going to be interested in us an issue but it
simply takes time because that information becomes known to the parliament and they are forced to do so but it's an easy way to do it i mean basically if you have to protection of a supply worse in both it will work then. as i'm sure you understand and also a fact said in very powerful interest and perhaps that that's where the reluctance to change anything comes from anyway mr aylmore we have to take a very short break now but we will be back in just a few moments and. apply for many clubs over the years so i know the game and so i got. the ball isn't only
about what happens on the pitch for the funnel school it's about the passion from the fans it's the age of the super manager kill you know the owners and spend the two to twenty million and one player. it's an experience like nothing else not to because i want to show what i think what i know about the beautiful guy a great so well for transfer. i think's going to. it was a. very. good
. welcome back to worlds apart built an album or a for my space banker and a tax haven whistleblower and mr elmer your own case is obviously different because it involves not only your former employer whom you are accused of tax money placements but also a huge institutional inches that is suisse banking secrecy which ultimately l. out switzerland to become a magnet such a magnet for private foreign money what is the bigger threat for you now that your case is under appeal is it the bank used to work for or the country as i think.
you might view it's basically to the contrary. but i'm more than happy that out of the cars elmore i mean the whistleblower elmer it has turned into a space bank secrecy. and it's a cause which relates not only to switzerland it also relates to all secrecy u.s. dictions with the secrecy laws so called them takes havens. how far the secrecy law will go. and the my case they are now trying to apply the secrecy law extra territory basically that men means that i was employed indicate an island and they are saying. on the swiss bank secrecy if the federal courts say that correct well i a prosecution or argues then it would mean that an employee let's
say more mumbai working for a swiss bank because they outsourced business down there is on the swiss bank secret i just want to clarify that for our viewers that you were acquitted last year but now the prosecutors are appealing your case and they're in fact arguing that regardless of where a person suppose that the founder is as long as he or she is working for swiss banks. he or she should comply with the secrecy laws reach means that potentially this if we if we. could be applied in any other country i'm sure you disagree with that and i'm sure many other countries would disagree with that but what do you think of the chances of the supreme court agreeing with that. i don't think they are that at all because it would actually create a tremendous international debate and i do know that. you parliament as well is looking already at the case however you never know because we
are talking here about a money making industry which is key for switzerland and therefore. even the federal courts will try to find me guilty one or do all the way pretty sure about that but as you said there is a huge. institutional interest on one hand the case of switzerland and how it makes its money but on the other hand there are also huge institutional interest in the e.u. and the united states in increasing transparency do you think that would be a consideration for the judges. to think that you have to consider that thing. you call to make a decision. due to political issues as a charge you actually forced to use the law to apply the law which
was. agreed to and set up by the parliament they don't have any room to make any political decision in theory in practice it looked different because i was found guilty by a late things his bank suit his seat twice at lower court of security and at least twelve talk just looked at the case and they said i'm guilty so therefore they may have made a political decision now now mr o'mara i think we can silly agreed that the swiss secrecy a lot has been under pressure from a number of western players most notably the united states and also the european union there has been some action against this ways banks and i heard the experts say before that as the swiss bankers ability to paddle a secrecy decreases they may come up with i'll turn into a business strategy so for example they may cater more to the clients from
politically unstable a developing countries and to try to sell. the billets here rather than secrecy has that come to pass do you see any change in how suis banks market dire services. yes i'm pretty sure there are many of them already i mean they have had a lot of time to adopt the pressure which is made by the international society for instance birth into will be individuals or formal to nationals used structures where you don't have the human to human being behind it i mean there are only days . that both individuals who are just not willing to expend so much money for ministration side to set up proper structure but i chocked i still. possible today secondly switzerland has a so-called safe center in the state of set up in two thousand and eleven so the
payment payments are made between switzerland and swiss bank secrecy still that sort of payment. payments are on the swiss bank secrecy so that's another one third on the. we do have me bonkers they are me bankers are not out to well try net worth individuals to for instance to put gold or any valuables in their reach basically means that. another business model each. minds even the money laundering laws the outsourced sort of business to let's call it all the tax havens new tax havens because you have to understand the tax haven business is so money making that. every county is really interested in
being a taxation it's a very profitable big business from what the from what you say but i correct me if i'm wrong i think there has also been some efforts or at least appear in south africa on the part of this we said thirty days to investigate where the mine are coming from there were there have been a number of high profile investigations usually involving politically disagreeable countries including russia i'm sure you know about the probe into russia's form our agricultural minister your lynas critique and her seventy million dollar assets in banks do you take that as a genuine pursuit of possibly konami cries or is that just the political or geopolitical single out singling out mine my view is really going on in switzerland . there are investigations before and. those in the investigations. are done due to political reasons and i'm pretty sure many of those investigations will
be closed without any result if you talk about the fight to talk about russia. i'm pretty sure the i know we have a lot of russian money in switzerland they will find reasons to close that case i mean we had this issue with automatic information exchange and also called conceded by right wing politics a corrupt contrary i don't want to while you on that one at the moment but they said it's a corrupt contrie do not exchange information automatically with a corrupt country and as a matter of fact i mean they have signed the contract with russia switzerland and they read revalue shortly before automatic information exchange will set into force if russia is still a co-op contrie it's not being solved at all or you raise the issue of corruption and it is a major problem for this country and form our own perhaps even the current officials
all well connected businessman siphoning off money from this country. not only for tax evasion purposes sometimes it's simply pure sealing of money from the budget or from banking accounts of private citizens it's simply an issue all for internal oversight and this is something that the russian government has to address but to what extent do you think this problem is a baited by the permissive practices of western financial institutions i mean. financial institutions or even. savings all over the world they will support that sort of thing because it's going to make money up. there a lot of reasons. to bring to explain why things are clean i mean for instance the bank i worked for we had so-called politically exposed people rereview those.
clients every stream spot there was a list which was called permanent exceptions. or clients reach not only were political expose people they also had a criminal record. basically about the banking girl dolls if something gets public that they will tell the client leave leave leave the bank we kick you out because the information system the financial introduced and have related to criminal cases they. know very well i had before an investigation is started to what's going on and then they get rid of their clients well mr elmer what you're saying is very depressing but i wonder if there is a slight hope of the times changing perhaps we leave in an era when increased transparency is not just a moral aspiration it's
a practical consequence of technological advance do you think this we stated as one of the world's biggest tax havens will survive the technologies such as block chain and the like. e s i do think so but you have to see. key issues are not the instruments a sub judge in my view key issues are that if someone gets caught that the person is made personally responsible that the person goes to prison which makes them really afraid of using could mean and that actions or for instance with the big force because to big force are actually the enablers. you my view of tax evasion because they they were globally they have one hundred eighty one hundred eighty counties all faces and they do they do as well tax advice
to the multinationals but they are not responsible for what they say so in my view because for instance all those peaks forced to have to toss to the public as well they have to come through that all the proton on a yearly level that there is no material and be talking about maternity they know what that means that there is no material profit chafing from want to do all the contrie you have to make those people responsible for it and that they are. getting kind of getting afraid of i have to go to prison or the county might. be punished with sanctions all for from the international community. that sort of thing is i mean you can set up structures but if there is no point where someone gets really responsible for it than and say look. at the fines we
pay you simply business costs or for instance we had a case in switzerland where a banker was. conveyed to doff helping. in tax evasion he had to pay you one thousand and and that was it basically that sort of thing has to change well it may sound like this is all we have time for thank you very much for being with us today and to our viewers please share your comments on our twitter facebook and youtube pages and i hope to see you again same place same time here on the world apart.
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