LISBON: Rio Pinto, the Football Leaks source now in detention, faces more than 100 charges from Portuguese prosecutors.
The 30-year-old, who has said he hacked confidential documents belonging to leading clubs and officials, was arrested in Hungary in January on a European arrest warrant over allegations of fraud, extortion and secrecy violations after being extradited in March.
Prosecutors said in a statement they had brought a total of 147 charges against Pinto, mostly related to alleged crimes of unauthorised access to data, attempted extortion and violation of correspondence.
It is alleged he created Football leaks in 2015 to share confidential documents of national and international organisations, both public and private, including leading Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon.
Documents included transfer fees, agreements between sports entities, contracts and information related to players’ agencies, prosecutors said.
A charge document said: “(Pinto) installed various computer programs and digital tools on his equipment that allowed him, in a disguised and anonymous way, to enter the computer systems and third-party mailboxes and remove content from it.”
Pinto’s lawyers have defended him as a whistleblower acting in the public interest.
At a meeting in February organised by the European Union agency Eurojust, French prosecutors said they collaborated with Pinto to conduct their own investigations and had analysed 12 million files, including emails, provided by him.
During the same meeting, prosecutors from other countries, including Belgium, expressed their desire to use Football Leaks data to open investigations. Lawyers have said that Pinto wants to collaborate but will not be able to do so if Portuguese authorities keep him behind bars.