The prosecutors of a former UBS employee accused of stealing client data and selling on to German tax authorities are seeking a four year prison sentence.
The maximum sentence for breaking bank secrecy laws is five years.
The defendant, identified only as Rene S. has thus far failed to turn up to court, originally set to begin on Monday 7th January, but delayed a day due to his no-show.
His prosecutors have requested a four-year prison sentence and a fine equivalent to over $6,000, according to Bloomberg.
In failing to report to court for his trial, Rene S. is echoing the approach of Herve Falciani, a former IT specialist at HSBC Holdings PLC, accused in 2015 of trying to sell customer data, who claimed he wished to prove to the authorities how HSBC clients were evading tax.
The trial comes at a time when Swiss laws regarding whistleblowers are being reviewed by its government, with proposed changes falling short of global standards according to anti-corruption organisation Transparency International.
“Swiss lawmakers so far have consistently avoided providing adequate whistleblower protection. They seem to have not yet understood its importance for employees, but also the value added for Swiss companies and Switzerland as a business location,” Martin Hilti, executive director in Switzerland of Transparency International, said.
Rene S.’s legal representatives have denied the charges against their client. The trial is expected to last for the remainder of the week with a verdict scheduled for January 21st.
UBS have come under pressure from French and German tax authorities recently, with those in France demanding a fine of €3.7 billion be paid for allegedly abetting its clients in tax evasion.