Former Doyen Sports administrator, Nélio Lucas, said this Wednesday that the investment fund “never” was available to pay for the extortion attempt attributed to Rui Pinto to halt the publication of documents in ‘Football Leaks’.
In the testimony that still takes place in the 21st session of the trial, Nélio Lucas discussed the contours of his contacts with Artem Lobuzov, the name allegedly used by Rui Pinto in the exchange of messages with the businessman and who would have established a budget “between 500 thousand and one million euros “to put an end to the disclosure of confidential investment fund information on the Internet.
“We never intended to pay, as it turned out,” he began by mentioning Nélio Lucas, then justifying why he kept the conversation going. “I had to keep responding to buy time, because there was a stop for publications, and then to try to find out who it was,” he noted, noting that, despite the apparently Russian name, the email was in Portuguese and “well written”.
It was as a result of these messages that the meeting took place at the service station on the A5 motorway, in Oeiras, on October 22, 2015, between Doyen’s administrator, lawyer Pedro Henriques – who operated as a ‘right-hand man’ – and the lawyer Aníbal Pinto, representing Artem Lobuzov. In this regard, Nélio Lucas also confirmed that he himself chose the location for the meeting and not the Judiciary Police (PJ), who meanwhile was already aware of the contacts and who had already received complaints from Doyen and the businessman himself.
“It is Mr. Artem who suggests that extortion should be mediated by lawyers, which must be unprecedented. It was such an unusual situation that I used Pedro Henriques to understand who this gang was and what they wanted”, he said, without failing to mention that the face-to-face meeting “comes at the insistence of the other party”, who had shown “urgency”.
Without hiding that he had “any hope” of meeting Rui Pinto, Nélio Lucas even revealed that during the conversation with Aníbal Pinto he even suspected that it was the lawyer who was in possession of Doyen’s documentation. According to the witness, “Aníbal Pinto knew everything that was going on” and that he “even suggested paying half the lowest amount”, that is, 250 thousand euros instead of a sum between 500 thousand and one million.
The former Doyen administrator said that the representative of Artem Lobuzov at the meeting – and also accused in this process – wanted him to pay him a fee of 300 thousand euros and that it was his idea to transform the situation into a supposed performance contract. services for Rui Pinto (whose identity as creator of the ‘Football Leaks’ platform was still unknown at the time).
Nélio Lucas also confirmed that Doyen took steps to discover the source of the attack on the computer system, by hiring a British investigation company. The operation did not reach conclusions, but the businessman argued that it was the information provided at the meeting on the A5 motorway by Aníbal Pinto about his client – “a young man between 20 and 30 years old, living abroad and who had already accessed a bank of the Cayman Islands “- that helped the PJ to arrive at the later identification of Rui Pinto.
“When I left to speak, it was the best thing I did, because we are here today”, he asserted, conveying the conviction that there was “no doubt” intention of Artem Lobuzov to receive the money: “My perception is that I wanted receive the money”.
Rui Pinto, 31, is responsible for a total of 90 crimes: 68 of undue access, 14 of violation of correspondence, six of illegitimate access, targeting entities such as Sporting, Doyen, PLMJ law firm, the Portuguese Federation of Football (FPF) and the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), and also for computer sabotage to Sporting’s SAD and for extortion, in the attempted form. This last crime concerns Doyen and was also what led to the pronunciation of the lawyer Aníbal Pinto.
The creator of Football Leaks has been free since August 7, “due to his collaboration” with the Judiciary Police (PJ) and his “critical sense”, but for security reasons, he is part of the protection program of witnesses in an undisclosed location and under police protection.