Friday, 11 December 2015



"Refusing to appear in Swiss court, Falciani dismissed the legal proceedings against him as a “parody of justice.” Convicted in absentia, Falciani was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for committing the largest leak in banking history.

“HSBC has always maintained that Falciani systematically stole clients’ information in order to sell it for his own personal financial gain,” HSBC stated in support of the court’s decision. “The court heard that he was not motivated by whistle-blowing intentions and that this was not a victimless crime.”

Instead of using the data for financial gain, Falciani ended up assisting multiple governments in exposing wealthy tax dodgers and criminal organizations. Subsequent investigations discovered HSBC not only assisted tax evaders but also laundering money for drug cartels, Russian gangsters, and terrorist organizations linked to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah. The bank also helped Iran, North Korea, and the Sudan evade sanctions.

During Falciani’s trial, Switzerland was in the process of dismantling its banking secrecy practices. But on November 4, the Swiss finance ministry decided to shelve the plans.

“It is not Falciani who is being judged,” said Falciani’s attorney, Marc Henzelin. “It is the court. It is Switzerland.”"


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