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Portugal “remains a haven for a great amount of corruption”, says Luanda Leaks hacker Rui Pinto

96rui pintoRui Pinto was thankful this Tuesday that the “arduous and long crossing of the desert” had come to an end, alluding to his release from prison, but he warned that “the struggle continues”, as Portugal “remains a haven for great corruption”.

“A big thanks to all those who have shown their support and solidarity since the first hour. But the struggle continues, because after almost two years, Portugal remains a haven for great corruption and money laundering. It is now more than ever that we need unity and resilience. Portugal has to change”, wrote the creator of the Football Leaks platform on his official Twitter account.

On Friday, Margarida Alves, president of the panel of judges who will rule on Pinto’s verdict, ordered the release of the defendant who was for security reasons inserted in a witness protection program, in a residence with police surveillance.

His trial will begin on September 4th for 90 crimes: 68 of undue access, 14 of violation of correspondence, six of illegitimate access and also for computer sabotage to Sporting’s SAD and for attempted extortion of the Doyen investment fund. An average of three sessions per week are scheduled. Aníbal Pinto, Rui Pinto’s former lawyer will also be tried for an extortion attempt of between 500,000 euros to one million euros to the Doyen investment fund, and is the second defendant in the lawsuit.

The trial will have only 10 seats available to the public, six of which will be for journalists and four for family members of the accused. In an order which press were able to access on Monday, Judge Alves recalls that, in addition to limiting the number of seats available in the courtroom, they add “their own limitations resulting from the contingency situation” due to the COVID pandemic, which “imposes a set of rules” regarding attending the trial.

The Public Ministry (MP) opposed Pinto’s release originally, but was justified by Judge Margarida Alves with the “continuous and consistent collaboration” with the Judiciary Police and the “critical sense” of the creator of the Football Leaks platform. In early June, the Lisbon Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal from the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) and upheld the instructional decision, handed down on January 17, which brought to trial Pinto for 90 crimes, not the 147 that he had been originally accused of.

Back in September 2019, the Public Ministry had accused Rui Pinto of 147 crimes, 75 of which were illegitimate access, 70 of violation of correspondence, one of computer sabotage and one of extortion attempt, as well as for illegally accessing the computer systems of Sporting, Doyen, the PLMJ law firm, the Portuguese Football Federation and the Attorney General’s Office (PGR).