KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Rui Pinto, the Football Leaks whistleblower and/or hacker, has been released from detention in Portugal on bail pending the opening of his trial for a multiplicity of offences in Lisbon on September 4.
The 31-year-old is accused of attempted extortion, computer hacking and breach of correspondence. He faces 90 charges rather than the 147 included in the original indictment after he was extradited from Hungary.
Rui Pinto is also behind the so-called ‘Doyen case’ and the leak of 715,000 compromising documents for the Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos, the so-called Luanda Leaks.
He was arrested in Budapest in January 2019 and until last week had been held in detention then house arrest without internet access in Portugal since March 22, 2019.
His lawyer Francisco Teixeira da Mota said.“This has been made possible because he has cooperated with justice,” said
Pinto’s discoveries, published by German news magazine Der Spiegel and other European news outlets, prompted criminal investigations across western Europe.
The Portuguese judicial authorities consider him a hacker and blackmailed while Pinto, who denies all charges, claims he is a whistleblower.
In January he was also been named as the source of leaked documents about the alleged business dealings of Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos, daughter of the former Angolan president.
Another of Pinto’s lawyers, William Bourdon, has compared his client with the United States whistleblower Edward Snowden who leaked classified National Security Agency information.
Bourdon said: “Rui Pinto is the Edward Snowden of international corruption and [he] must be recognized as one of the greatest whistleblowers of the beginning of this century.”
The “next step” will be a request for Pinto’s acquittal.