Journalist Rui Santos and university professor Paulo Morais defended this Thursday in the ‘Football Leaks’ trial the public interest in the information revealed by Rui Pinto and its importance in combating the phenomenon of corruption.
In the testimony as a witness listed by the defense of the creator of the electronic platform, in the 42nd session of the trial that takes place at the Central Criminal Court of Lisbon, Rui Santos reiterated his defense of a “more transparent” football and that there is “a before and a after” the ‘Football Leaks’, which he considered to have helped “shed light on a lot of things”, to which access “has always been very difficult”.
Rui Pinto’s contribution is a light at the end of the tunnel of what we perceive, but do not have access to. I see in these revelations something very important and that society and its institutions should take advantage of in order to increase surveillance”said, underlining: “I have no doubt about the public interest. I distinguish between how the documents were obtained and their content. It is of indisputable public interest, because the regulatory mechanisms are absolutely insufficient and ineffective.”.
In the opinion of the SIC Notícias commentator, “society should not need these mechanisms to get to the truth”.
Questioned multiple times by lawyers for assistants in the process and even by the collective of judges about the breadth and limits to which the concept of public interest should be subject, Rui Santos considered that “’Ruis Pintos’ should not be necessary”, although he stressed the relevance of your action.
“The public interest threshold has a lot to do with our definition of a legality concern,” he explained. Faced with examples, such as the exfiltration of email boxes in full and with the possible exposure of personal data, the president of the collective of judges, Margarida Alves, asked whether, in the commentator’s perspective, this would be “collateral damage that falls short of a good bigger”, something that Rui Santos subscribed to: “Yes, it is my perspective”.
In turn, Paulo Morais defended his view of the creator of the electronic platform as “an informed citizen” and who should be “equated with a whistleblower” due to the importance of the information disclosed, either by ‘Football Leaks’ or by the ‘Luanda Leaks’ case. ‘, which in January 2020 exposed alleged financial schemes by businesswoman Isabel dos Santos and her husband, which would have allowed them to withdraw money from the Angolan public treasury through tax havens.
The revelations of ‘Football Leaks’ and ‘Luanda Leaks’ were of maximum public interest for the national and international community to become aware of corruption cases”noted the professor, who has stood out at the social level in recent years for his positions in relation to the fight against corruption.
Paulo Morais valued, above all, the knowledge that ‘Luanda Leaks’ provided, by allowing “to materialize with documents what was already known by many”, according to the witness.
“Isabel dos Santos’ economic protection was great, as was the political spectrum. Portugal was the port for laundering Angolan money in Europe. It was an act of great public hygiene in Portugal and here is my tribute”, she concluded.
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 PLMJ law firm, the Portuguese Federation of Football (FPF) and the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), and also for computer sabotage of Sporting’s SAD and for extortion, in the attempted form. This last crime concerns Doyen and was what also led to the indictment of lawyer Aníbal Pinto.
The creator of Football Leaks has been free since August 7th, “due to his collaboration” with the Judiciary Police (PJ) and his “critical sense”, but is, for security reasons, included in the program to protect football. witnesses in an undisclosed location and under police protection.