Leaked bank data detainee committed suicide: Swiss police

13th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

An Austrian man who died while in custody in Switzerland last month in relation to the suspected theft of Swiss banking data committed suicide, Swiss police said on Wednesday.

"The police inquiry and the results of forensic research have shown that it was a suicide," said a spokeswoman for police in the canton of Berne, Florie Marion.

"The 42-year-old man was in his cell, he took his life with the help of a television cable," she added.

Marion said he had left a letter, but declined to give further details.

The man, who has only been identified as Wolfgang U., had been imprisoned since mid September in relation to a criminal inquiry into the theft of banking data and their sale to Germany, according to the Swiss federal prosecutor's office.

The Austrian newspaper Kronenzeitung reported that the man was suspected of being involved in laundering a sum received from German authorities on behalf of the whistleblower through an Austrian bank.

In February, officials in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia bought a computer disc for a reported 2.5 million euros (3.2 million dollars) with information on 1,100 wealthy Germans with bank accounts in Switzerland.

© 2010 AFP

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