Rui Pinto, the Portuguese man believed to be the mastermind behind Football Leaks, has been freed from house arrest and is now in witness protection as he awaits trial for attempted extortion and other crimes, police said late on Monday.

Prosecutors have said Pinto, 31, created Football leaks – a trove of 70 million documents exposing the dealings of European football clubs including transfer fees, contracts and information relating to players’ agencies.

His lawyers have described him as a “whistleblower” who acted in the public interest.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Pinto was detained in Hungary in January last year on a European arrest warrant issued by Portuguese authorities. He was then extradited to his home country.

Portuguese prosecutors brought various charges against him, mostly related to allegations of unauthorised access to data, attempted extortion and violation of correspondence.

He had been in pre-trial detention in Lisbon since March 2019 before going under house arrest in April this year. He was released at the weekend.

Portugal’s criminal investigation police agency (PJ) said in a statement Pinto was now in witness protection and that it “reserves the right and the duty to use all legal means at its disposal to discover the truth of the crimes it investigates”.

According to Portuguese law, special protection measures can be applied to witnesses when there is danger for life, health, freedom or property.

Pinto’s trial is set to start next month.

Earlier this year, Pinto also took responsibility for disclosing hundreds of thousands of files about alleged financial schemes used by billionaire Isabel dos Santos to build her vast business empire. She has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Petr Yan names the first man he wants to face as champion after capturing UFC bantamweight title at UFC 251 (VIDEO)

Yan finished two-time former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo in the fifth round of their battle for the vacant title on “UFC Fight Island” to capture the undisputed belt. And now the Russian star says he’ll likely return to action…

Watford chairman says league resumption should not burden NHS

The Premier League must not rush to re-start its season and has to ensure there is no additional strain on the National Health Service, Watford chairman Scott Duxbury said. Professional football in England was suspended indefinitely last month because of the…

F1 drivers respond to Hamilton criticism over silence on George Floyd

The Independent employs over 100 journalists around the world to bring you news you can trust. Please consider a contribution or subscription. A number of Formula One drivers have spoken out publicly over the killing of George Floyd, following fierce…

‘I will break Usyk’s record’: Ukrainian plus-size model Mila Kuznetsova to embark on professional BOXING career (PHOTOS)

The blonde said she was inspired by the Klitschko brothers, whose museum she visited right before the nationwide lockdown. READ MORE: Get your kit off: World Naked Bike Ride organizers say all-day exposure for NUDE cycling is ‘best thing that could…