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Spain frees with conditions ex-HSBC employee wanted by Switzerland for stolen information

Spain's National Court has granted conditional freedom to a former HSBC bank employee who is wanted by Switzerland for releasing confidential information on thousands of customers with Swiss accounts.

The court Tuesday ordered Herve Falciani's release on the prosecutor's recommendation, saying he was cooperating with authorities and that his extradition case may drag on. He was ordered to hand over his passport, not to leave Spain and to appear before police every three days.

Falciani has been jailed provisionally since being arrested July 1 in Barcelona on a Swiss warrant.

The data he allegedly stole about 24,000 customers of HSBC's Swiss subsidiary potentially exposed many people to prosecution by tax authorities in their home countries. Falciani passed the information to French authorities who later relayed it to some other countries.