Police question IT-specialist who revealed data of SNB boss
It was announced on Tuesday that the police had arrested the man who revealed details of the bank account of Philipp Hildebrand, the former head of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) who resigned from the post last year.
Expatriates may remember that Hildebrand had come under much pressure to resign following the disclosure that his wife had made foreign exchange transactions before the SNB had announced that it would be capping the value of the franc with regard to other currencies. While Hildebrand said he had not known about his American wife's transactions, he could not prove that he did not know, and consequently resigned last January.
The IT specialist at the Sarasin Bank in Basel (photograph) who revealed private information relating to Hildebrand's account and who later passed it on to Hermann Lei, an SVP member of the cantonal government of Thurgau, was arrested at his home in Amlikon-Bissegg (40 kilometres to the north-east of Zurich) on Tuesday afternoon.
The arrest came at the behest of the Zurich Prosecution Service, the same authority which is looking into the Hildebrand case, on account of alleged menace, though it is not known against whom. One suggestion is that it could be former SVP Federal Chancellor Christoph Blocher, who passed on the details about Hildebrand's account to then Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey, prompting Hildebrand to resign.
Lei's solicitor, Stefan Flachsmann, said that his client's arrest was purely "a big misunderstanding" and that everything could be explained. Not that Lei was held by the police for long. By Tuesday evening he had already been released.