Portugal this week sentences Rui Pinto, the man who exposed the dark side of football

Eight years after shocking the football world, Football Leaks informant Rui Pinto is preparing to hear sentencing over a process he has endured multiple times over the past three years. from the house where he lives, under police protection, at an undisclosed address Go to Lisbon Judicial Campus

That was in 2015, Drinking a pint in Prague (Czechoslovakia), When Rui Pinto and a group of friends decided to get into football. In August of the same year, returning to Budapest (Hungary), where he lived, Rui Pinto “went to work”, as he said in court during the trial, leaving the assurance: “The initial attack was not mine It’s what people do.” The aim is to expose the dark side of football. “You look at the reports and accounts of the Big Three and you see money disappears,” he told the court last October. Pinto also admitted that “illegal access” had been carried out to obtain a large number of documents that appeared on the Football Leaks blog shortly after.

The first document was released at the end of September 2015, stating Sporting Lisbon.Days later, documents from Doyen’s fund were shared, leading to the fund’s investment vehicles Kazakh Arifled by the Portuguese Nelio Lucas, lodged a complaint with the Portuguese Judicial Police.they give Sports Investment Co., Ltd.founded in Malta and investing tens of millions of euros in European football, Did business with him atletico madrid and sevilleWait for the club and manage it Xavi Hernandez, Neymar, Beckham and Bolt.In Spain, already Under investigation by the Fifth Central Court of the National Court.

Following Lucas’s complaint, an investigation began, culminating in In January 2019, a Portuguese computer scientist was arrested in Budapest.

Meanwhile, Rui Pinto from the Hungarian capital follows the Football Leaks project’s outbreak, most 70 million documents about the football industry Pinto has shared with us since 2016 Der Spiegel. The German magazine analyzed the content together with its news network partners European Investigative Cooperation (EIC)they all belong to Information free as Espresso.These documents are used to prepare Over 1,000 itemsmany of which have resulted in legal action.

In Spain, disclosures regarding tax operations cristiano ronaldo and Jose Mourinho Brought to him Indicted and convicted for defrauding the Treasury Department This has amounted to millions of euros over the years. It also exposed the company’s opaque operations. Leo Messi Foundation With Barcelona. In 2018, a series of new revelations revealed the company’s secrets. manchester cityhe paris saint germain and UEFAand other organizations.

At the end of the same year, another blog, benfica market, published documents of this Lisbon team on the Internet, but these publications ended only a few months later, shortly after the arrest of Rui Pinto. So suspicions grew that the project was also his – something Rui Pinto denied in court.

Three years since the trial began

In October 2020, the case was heard in court. football leakstriggered by a 2015 complaint from Doyen. Rui Pinto charged with 90 crimes: 68 inappropriate accesses, 14 communications breaches, 6 illegal accesses, 1 breach of Sporting CP computers and 1 attempt to blackmail Doyen.Other victims of the hack were PLMJ Law Firm and the Portuguese Football Federation.

In addition, in July last year, while the case was awaiting sentencing, Rui Pinto was again charged by the Ministry of Public Affairs in another case, this time for 377 computer crimes Benfica was among those affected. What happened to him may become public on Monday.

Amnesty but not forgiveness

Pope Francis’ visit to Portugal this summer led to the approval of an amnesty within the framework of the Paris Agreement. world youth day, some crimes committed against teenagers. A clue as to how the pardon could benefit Rui Pinto was the judge’s order to postpone the sentencing of the Football Leaks founder until September 11.

according to Margarida Alvesthe accused can take advantage of the benefits promulgated during the papal visit “in connection with certain crimes (…), namely: Crimes of infringement of communications and inappropriate contactin its simple form, is punished precisely Penalty of up to one year in prison or fine. “Given the defendant’s age at the time of the offense, he fell within the scope of the above-mentioned laws,” the letter reads.

When the judge postponed the reading of the verdict, the amnesty law had not yet come into effect – it had taken effect on September 1.But Margarida Alves understands There is no point in condemning the so-called accusations hacker The crime he committed may later be pardoned.

As the judge emphasized, if Rui Pinto is convicted – and everything points to him being convicted, because the defendant admitted some crimes and the judge hinted that she considered some of the prosecution’s evidence – the sentence is punishable by one year in prison. Crimes will be pardoned. That is to say, There were 14 cases of communications infringement and 68 cases of improper access.. But it’s not inevitable either. “For example, there are reasons for exclusion related to recidivism,” he explains Espresso An attorney who asked not to be named: “If the judge thinks there is a repeat offender, she may not apply for clemency.”.

The lawyer was also charged with attempted extortion – for suggesting to Doyen that he pay between 500,000 and 1 million euros to stop publication. Anibal PintoHe was 30 years old at the time of the incident and would not be eligible for any pardon. Another lawyer said the crime, even if it was an attempted crime, was one of the crimes “excluded” from amnesty laws.The same goes for computer sabotage and illegal access crimes, which are cybercrime law To whom this is inexcusable.However, although the judge did not rule in this sense, the first lawyer pointed out that “the amnesty law states that pardon can only apply to If victims receive compensation“.

Football is still there

Rui Pinto, 34, who will turn 35 in October, faces one of Portugal’s most notorious trials of the past decade.He has been living under police protection in an unknown location for the past three years. Cooperation with the Portuguese Judicial Police Process information from seized hard drives to search for evidence of crimes to launch new investigations inside and outside football.

Although he lived a reclusive life, he did not stop occasionally appearing in Twitter – now X –, before him 125,000 followers. On August 24, in one of his last publications, he returned to football. “The special team created by DCIAP in 2018 (central investigation and criminal operations department) investigate corruption crimes in football only to serve the interests of criminal clubs, in particular Sporting Lisbon and Benfica,” he charged.

But the arrest and trial left a bitter taste. “Knowing what I know today, I would never do what I did before.”“, he said in court in October 2022. Rui Pinto has been subjected to a documentary and a book. Your life will now begin a new chapter.

Rui Pinto: ‘My life is in danger’

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Fifteen European media outlets gather online European investigative cooperation (EIC), which began to be disclosed on December 2, 2016 football leaks, the largest document leak in sports history.German weekly gets Der Spiegel and analyzed by EIC members, adding up 70 million documents, 3.4 TB, revealing the secrets of the international football industry.

this project football leaks Currently, except Information freeto magazine Der Spiegel (Germany), Mediapart (France), Espresso (Portugal), Evening News and standard (Belgium), NRC Business News (Netherlands), politics (Denmark), VG (Norway), RTS (Switzerland) and Domani (Italy).almost 80 journalists From 10 countries, published throughout Europe in 9 different languages.

These 70 million documents have been used to author more than 1,000 articles, many of which have resulted in judicial proceedings. football leaks Exposed tax fraud for which they were later convicted in Spain cristiano ronaldo and Jose Mourinho.he manchester city He was expelled from the Champions League for two years and fined 30 million euros for training against him. financial fair play Condemned by UEFA football leaks November 2018. Paris Saint-Germain also carried out this work.The management of FIFA and UEFA was not standardized, and the first batch of world football stars were signed for millions of dollars. Gareth Bale until Neymardisguise payment Barcelona arrive Leo Messi Foundation…just some of the things that have been revealed in recent years.

All leaks come from the same source, Rui Pintois a Portuguese computer scientist who is on trial in that country for crimes including attempted extortion, unlawful access, breach of communications and computer damage. Pinto assured that he always acted in the public interest and not out of self-interest.He considers himself a whistleblowerCorruption whistleblower, a person who enjoys special protection in the EU since October 2019.

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