Lisbon - Rui Pinto, the hacker linked to the Football Leaks website, who is
being held in Portugal awaiting trial, wants to continue aiding
investigations in other European countries, his lawyers said on Monday.
Pinto, who is Portuguese, was involved with a series of leaks that
exposed murky dealings across European football. He was extradited from
Hungary to Portugal on March 21.
The Portuguese prosecutor has charged Pinto, who hacked millions of
files, with "aggravated attempted extortion" and data theft. He could
face 10 years in prison.
"Rui Pinto wants to collaborate to help advance the investigations,"
said French lawyer William Bourdon, at a conference on the protection of
whistleblowers organised by Portuguese Socialist MEP Ana Gomes.
Pinto's Portuguese lawyer, Francisco Teixeira da Mota, said he spoke with his client on Monday morning.
"He is fine as far as is possible, he is in prison, but he wants to fight," said Teixeira da Mota."
The Portuguese authorities suspect Rui Pinto accessed the computer
systems of the Portuguese state, Lisbon's Sporting football club and the
investment fund Doyen Sports and then published confidential documents
on a website created in late 2015.
The hacker then asked Doyen for money to hush up compromising
documents, but he has said this was part of his attempt to show the
dishonesty in football.
His lawyers say Pinto is a "very important European whistleblower"
who made possible investigations in several countries into alleged
malpractices in football.
"This is just the beginning of the story," Bourdon said, adding that
Eurojust, the EU's Judicial Cooperation unit "has a copy of all that has
Belgian and French authorities "wish to meet Pinto again" said
Bourdon adding that these meetings should take place in Portugal "within
the framework of Eurojust mechanisms.
Gomes said Pinto could "provide valuable help in recovering money stolen through tax evasion."
In 2016, he handed four terabytes of data to a European media
consortium, which uncovered tax evasion, possible fraud and corruption
involving star players and club officials.
"I was working with the French authorities, starting a collaboration
with Swiss authorities and probably about to start another European
collaboration, and suddenly Portugal sabotaged everything," Rui Pinto
said before his extradition.
"I have no confidence in the Portuguese authorities," he added.