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Former UBS Banker to Stand Trial in US after Extradition

Raoul Weil, a former UBS banker who was charged by US authorities five years ago for helping rich Americans evade taxes with the aid of secret Swiss bank accounts, has agreed to stand trial in the US after being arrested in Italy. US authorities issued an international arrest warrant for Weil in early 2009.

"Mr Weil agreed to extradition to the US because he has always been prepared to confront these charges," said Weil's lawyer, Aaron R Marcu of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in New York.

Weil's indictment in November 2008 marked a massive change in the US' efforts to crack down on the use of offshore Swiss bank accounts. His indictment increased the pressure on UBS, which later admitted to tax fraud and agreed to pay a historic $780m fine. The deal dealt a major blow to Swiss banking privacy as thousands of its American clients were disclosed to US authorities.

Since the indictment, Weil has chosen to reside within the safety of Switzerland, which doesn't extradite its own citizens to other countries in cases of tax evasion. Italy has long co-operated with the US on extradition requests, with the exception of cases that might involve the death penalty. Police arrested Weil in a hotel in Bologna where he was vacationing with his wife.

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