International

Football Leaks hacker Rui Pinto files complaint against Portgual

2020-02-24 22:20
Soccer
Soccer

Lisbon - Portuguese hacker Rui Pinto, the originator of Football Leaks and Luanda Leaks, has filed a complaint with the EU against Portugal, accusing it of non-compliance with European rules on extradition, his lawyers told AFP on Monday.

"There were several irregularities in the extradition of Rui Pinto under European law," said Me Luisa Teixeira da Mota, one of Rui Pinto's lawyers, especially with regard to "the principle of specialty".

This rule prohibits an extradited person from being prosecuted for an offense other than that which gave rise to the request for extradition.

Rui Pinto's lawyers, who are presenting him as "a very important European whistleblower", are asserting that the Portuguese are pursuing him for crimes that did not appear in the original European arrest warrant.

Contacted by AFP, the European Commission was unable to confirm immediately that the complaint had been filed.

Rui Pinto was extradited in March 2019 to Portugal from Hungary, where he was living, because he allegedly tried to blackmail the Doyen Sports investment fund, demanding between €500,000 and €1 million to stop publishing documents that he had obtained illegally.

Subsequently, the Portuguese public prosecutor requested an extension of the arrest warrant in order to prosecute Pinto for additional offences.

The extension was granted by Hungary in August 2019 but the hacker's defence believes the procedure was riddled with irregularities.

The 31-year-old hacker is in custody in Portugal awaiting trial, notably for computer sabotage, breach of correspondence and aggravated extortion.

Pinto collaborated in late 2018 with the French National Financial Prosecutor's Office, which felt the hacker enabled "major developments" in several investigations into tax evasion.

Several European authorities, including France and Belgium, intend to meet Pinto again with the aim of advancing their investigations.

The Football Leaks revelations, which first appeared in 2015 and were eventually published in Germany's Spiegel and other European outlets, sparked criminal investigations in countries including Britain and France.

Earlier this month, English champions Manchester City were handed a two-year ban from European competitions and fined €30 million euros  for "serious financial fair-play breaches" following a UEFA investigation prompted by Football Leaks.

The club has appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Last month, Rui Pinto also claimed to be behind Luanda Leaks, a leak of 715,000 compromising documents surrounding the Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos, daughter of former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

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