In the fourth session of the Football Leaks trial, at the Lisbon Central Criminal Court, the creator of the electronic platform explained, in detail, the steps prior to his arrest, on January 16, 2019, revealing this collaboration with the French Public Ministry (MP), who received information from investigated cases.
"I gave a pen drive to the French prosecutors with information so they could understand what was in my possession. I also had a meeting with elements of the French police special team about the witness protection program and then a date was scheduled for me to go to French territory", said Pinto.
These contacts took place from 2018 onwards, when Rui Pinto hired French lawyer William Bourdon to assist him on this collaboration, although there had already been interest from the French authorities “since late 2016 or early 2017”, he said.
Working with the French
"The prosecutors for the French MP were very pleased with the preliminary information that I gave them and they asked for more. I arranged with my lawyer for a meeting where this information would be passed on. In early December 2018, the second wave of Football Leaks revelations emerged, they shook Europe completely", continued Rui Pinto.
Asked about the reason that led him to collaborate with the French authorities, instead of the Portuguese authorities, Rui Pinto expressed that it was his intention, since he arrived in Portugal, to do so, but he received "too many death threats" and did not feel safe. "I didn't trust the Portuguese authorities and the episodes related to Chief Inspector Rogério Bravo gave me some reason. On the other hand, the authorities of other countries were always more interested in this information".
"I was in pre-trial detention and the Portuguese authorities did not show any kind of openness to this collaboration, because they thought they had everything under control. Little did they know what would come, months later, with Luanda Leaks. I presented my critical spirit, I changed my stance and the MP also changed his a little", replied Rui Pinto.
Rui Pinto, 34 years old, is charged with a total of 90 crimes: 68 of improper access, 14 of violation of correspondence, and six of illegitimate access, targeting entities such as Sporting, Doyen, the law firm PLMJ, the Portuguese Federation of Football (FPF) and the Attorney General's Office (PGR), and also for computer sabotage of Sporting's SAD and for extortion, in the attempted form.
The creator of Football Leaks has been free since August 7, 2020, "due to his collaboration" with the Judiciary Police (PJ) but is, for security reasons, included in the witness protection programme in an undisclosed location and under police protection.
He should be completely acquitted.
It's a shame he used his talents investigating football teams instead of political parties though.
By Quentin Ferreira from Lisbon on 01 Nov 2022, 15:03