Rui Pinto, creator of the electronic platform Football Leaks, which starts to be judged on Friday, this Wednesday classified Benfica as “an octopus of influence” and said that the responsible for the club “think they dominate the country”.
This club is like an octopus of influence. There is one very important detail that I want the audience to think about. At the same time as the Portuguese authorities were sending a request to the Hungarian authorities to extend my European arrest warrant, the Hungarian Foreign Minister received two VIP tickets for Benfica matches and had meetings at the Benfica stadium. This is Benfica”, said Rui Pinto, in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, published by Expresso today.
Rui Pinto states that “after the publication of e-mails from Benfica, everyone began to realize that the modus operandi of its leaders was to broaden their influence, often out of courtesy, to achieve their goals” and understands that the club “was a of the parties most interested in the extension of the European Arrest Warrant”.
The creator of Footbal Leaks, a platform through which he disclosed thousands of confidential documents from the world of football and alleged tax evasion schemes committed in several countries, guarantees that he does not consider himself a ‘hacker’ and defends the role of the ‘whistleblower’ (whistleblower) .
Anyone who seeks, receives and analyzes information relating to relevant crimes such as corruption and tax fraud and decides to share it with international media or directly with the authorities should be considered a whistleblower. Take Panama Papers as an example. Today, most people have forgotten that it was an act of ‘hacking’ (computer piracy)”, he claims.
Rui Pinto, who is freed and, for security reasons, included in the witness protection program in an undisclosed location and under police protection, admits to feeling “a little sad because Football Leaks did not achieve everything they expected at the beginning ”.
For whistleblowers, the world of football is not the easiest place to enter. I believe Football Leaks was one of the most dangerous leaks of information. Football whistleblowers are in much more danger than those from other businesses such as the Panama Papers or the LuxLeaks”, said.
Also responsible for the Luanda Leaks process, Rui Pinto believes that the denunciations involving Isabel dos Santos have changed her image in public opinion.
There was a change in the press regarding me: some journalists who always called me a pirate or hacker or computer spy now call me whistleblower. Before, everyone treated Football Leaks as a silly war between football clubs. But when Luanda Leaks appeared, everyone realized that there was much more to it. Even the prosecutors eventually realized that this was bigger than what they expected. This project ended up helping me to finally get out of prison”, refers.
Rui Pinto, a self-taught computer-skilled person, starts being tried on Friday for 90 crimes: 68 of improper access, 14 crimes of violation of correspondence, six crimes of illegitimate access, computer sabotage to Sporting’s SAD and extortion , in the attempted form, the latter, a crime for which the lawyer Aníbal Pinto was also pronounced.