Whistleblower Gets 5-Year Jail Sentence In Absentia

But missing in court hearings

20 Weird Laws Around The GlobeAccording to a BBC report, a Swiss court has convicted a former HSBC employee for economic espionage and sentenced him to five years in jail.

The former HSBC IT worker, Herve Falciani, was put on trial for leaking confidential information which prompted tax evasion investigation on a worldwide scale of prominent clients with accounts in Switzerland.

Mr. Falciani did not show up for the trial, however, as France has a policy of not extraditing its own citizens.

He was invited by AP news to opine on the judgment, but reportedly told the news agency he had “no reaction” to the sentencing.

Mr. Falciani had earlier rejected the idea of traveling to Switzerland to attend the Federal Tribunal in Bellinzona trial.

According to press reports, he was charged with illegally obtaining data, economic espionage, breach of business confidentiality, and breach of bank secrecy while working at a Swiss HSBC subsidiary between 2006 and 2008.

He was, however, only found guilty by the court for violation of economic intelligence, and for having made public information about foreign entities in Lebanon, France, Germany, and the U.K.

HSBC was pleased with the verdict by the court in the case as they had long argued that Mr. Falciani had illegally downloaded details from clients and accounts.

“HSBC has always maintained that Falciani systematically stole clients’ information in order to sell it for his own personal financial gain,” HSBC said in a statement.

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Edited by Jesus Chan

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