The chief inspector of the Judiciary Police (PJ) Rogério Bravo this Wednesday rebutted the suspicions raised about his conduct in the ‘Football Leaks’ process and justified sending a document to Doyen with the desire to obtain answers more quickly.
Heard as a witness at the 34th session of the trial underway at the Central Court of Criminal Instruction, in Lisbon, Rogério Bravo – who assumed that he was accused in a case whose certificate was extracted by the court in this case – refused to comment on whether the sending of a document would be in court secrecy was a “usual” situation and he considered that he did not have to ask for authorization, arguing that, in 2015, it did not seem like “a bad initiative”.
“Knowing that the Eastern countries never get a timely response and that they always had to deliver the same information to the assistant to carry out the audit, what we said was: ‘If you have knowledge in the East, try to get the information faster, we will always try to obtain through formal mechanisms'”, he explained.
In question, there is a letter sent in October 2015 by the PJ to the Russian internet server Yandex LLC requesting information and which was shared with the elements linked to the investment fund, Nélio Lucas and Pedro Henriques, a document that Rui Pinto would have had access. “It is a communication that constitutes proven proof that Rui Pinto had illicit access to communications”, stressed Rogério Bravo.
With coordination functions in the PJ in the area of digital investigation, the chief inspector justified his intervention in the process because the “case seemed serious and deserved urgent attention”. Describing the situation around ‘Football Leaks’ as “an unusual case”, Rogério Bravo understood that there was “something weird going on in Portugal” and that it was his “duty” to get informed, noting that he was ” several times” with Doyen.
“Since when do you not work with the assistant? Even more in a case like this? When we realized that the assistant’s computer area covered three different countries, there was even an exchange of information”, he said, devaluing the use of his mail address personal electronics and the ‘treatment for you’ with Doyen interlocutors present in emails: “Everyone who knows me at all knows that I usually treat people for you.”
Questioned by the defense of Aníbal Pinto, the chief inspector of the PJ explained that the defendant was considered suspect after crossing previous information and that linked the lawyer to the legal representation of Rui Pinto in an older case, thus drawing a “continuity nexus” between cases: “We were led to do a summation account with the history.”
Regarding the meeting in the commercial area of the service area of the A5 motorway, on October 22, 2015, between Nélio Lucas, Pedro Henriques and Aníbal Pinto, Rogério Bravo reaffirmed the pertinence of the PJ’s operation with “the great possibility of a flagrant crime ” in a situation of “extortion” and that there were instructions to intervene immediately if there was any delivery between the parties.
Confronted with the court testimony of PJ inspector Aida Freitas, in which she had admitted that she had signed the report of this diligence without reading it, Rogério Bravo said that he had not witnessed the conversation in the commercial area, despite being on the ground, and stressed that the report he came to corroborate the information that had been passed on to him after the meeting.
“When I found out about it and when I read it, it was right with the summary they had given me. I’m very sorry, I’ve never seen anything like it in my career, but it’s the inspector who will have to answer about it,” he added, continuing: “There was specific doubt raised by the inspector, but that ceased when she saw the signature. There was no further conversation.”
Underlining carrying the “cross” of the Football Leaks process since 2015, Rogério Bravo also assumed that the PJ’s investigation did not distinguish this electronic platform from the ‘Mercado de Benfica’ blog, which emerged in 2018, to which Rui Pinto was allegedly linked and where they were disclosed documents from lawyers linked to the PLMJ office.
Finally, in the inquiry conducted by the defense of the creator of ‘Football Leaks’, Rogério Bravo acknowledged that “there ended up being a change in the procedural posture” of Rui Pinto.
At the same time, the chief inspector of the PJ did not fail to make a remark in relation to former MEP and presidential candidate Ana Gomes, whose complaint resulted in an inquiry by the Public Ministry about her relationship with Doyen. The complaint was filed last November, but the inquiry was, however, reopened, after a certificate extracted by the court already during this trial, in December.
“I wasn’t the one mixing politics with representation. There was a candidate who had a role, who went to visit the defendant and made considerations that gave rise to the process,” he concluded.
After this hearing, witnesses Paulo Abalada, Pedro Pereira, Domingos Ferreira and Pedro Gonçalves were also heard, all listed by the defense of the defendant Aníbal Pinto. The trial of the Football Leaks process continues this Thursday morning, having been requested to hear the director of the PJ’s cybercrime combat unit, Carlos Cabreiro.
Rui Pinto, 32, is responsible for a total of 90 crimes: 68 of improper access, 14 of violation of correspondence, six of illegitimate access, targeting entities such as Sporting, Doyen, the law firm PLMJ, the Portuguese Federation of Football (FPF) and the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), and also for computer sabotage to Sporting’s SAD and extortion, as attempted. This last crime concerns Doyen and it was also what led to the prosecution of 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 he is, for security reasons, included in the protection program for witnesses in an undisclosed location and under police protection.