‘Football Leaks’ trial ends with whistleblower facing April verdict

The trial of the whistleblower behind the ‘Football Leaks’ revelations, a 34-year-old Portuguese man accused of hacking and tried extortion, concluded in Lisbon on Monday, with the court docket as a consequence of ship its verdict on April 28.

“I am fully aware of having committed illegalities,” defendant Rui Pinto informed the judges on the finish of the listening to of a trial which opened greater than two years in the past.

The paperwork unveiled by “Football Leaks” from the tip of 2015 have dropped at gentle doubtful soccer enterprise practices involving well-known gamers and golf equipment, resulting in tax changes and the opening of authorized proceedings in a number of European international locations.

Pinto was being tried for 89 hacking offences, which he allegedly dedicated in opposition to the funding fund Doyen Sports, Sporting Lisbon, the Portuguese Football Federation, a legislation agency and magistrates of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic.

He was additionally on trial for tried extortion.

The prosecution argued that Pinto tried to blackmail Nelio Lucas, the boss of Doyen, which relies in Malta and managed by a household of Kazakh-Turkish oligarchs, by demanding between 500,000 and a million euros to cease him publishing compromising paperwork on the Internet.

He then leaked paperwork in 2015. They had been revealed in Germany’s Der Spiegel and different European shops and sparked felony investigations in international locations together with Britain and France.

“There is no doubt that he is a whistleblower” and never “a computer criminal”, his lawyer Francisco Teixeira da Mota pleaded on Monday, stressing that his shopper had “never earned a penny” from his exercise.

Pinto confessed to hacking and regretted his behaviour in direction of Doyen Sports prompting his lawyer to say: “I was not going to plead acquittal, it wouldn’t make sense. A suspended prison sentence would be sufficient.”

The public prosecutor, who didn’t recognise his standing as a whistleblower, name for a conviction with out specifying whether or not he ought to obtain a custodial sentence.

Pinto spent greater than a 12 months in pre-trial detention following his arrest in Hungary in January 2019 earlier than agreeing to cooperate with authorities in different circumstances, changing into each a defendant and a protected witness.

Pinto was additionally behind the “Luanda Leaks”, revealed in January 2020 accusing Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, daughter of former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, of fraudulently accumulating a fortune estimated at virtually 2 billion euros.

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