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Relation rejects Benfica’s appeal on suspension of Rui Pinto’s case

The suspension is conditional on the creator of Football Leaks continuing to collaborate with the authorities.

The Lisbon Court of Appeal rejected the appeal filed by SAD do Benfica on the suspension of the judicial process in which Rui Pinto is suspected of illegitimately accessing the Reds’ computer system and disclosing emails.

The court decision, to which the Lusa agency had access, thus confirms the provisional suspension proposed by the Public Ministry in July 2020 and accepted by the Criminal Investigation Judge.

At stake are five cases, in which Rui Pinto was being investigated, related to undue access to computer systems of various entities, including those of Benfica. The suspension is conditional on the creator of Football Leaks continuing to collaborate with the authorities.

This suspended process originated in a certificate extracted from the main process, in which Benfica SAD constituted itself as an assistant, known as the “emails case”, in which the communication director of FC Porto, Francisco J. Marques, the then director of Porto Canal, Júlio Magalhães, and a commentator from the television station are accused of violating correspondence and improper access, for disseminating content from Benfica’s emails on Porto Canal.

SAD appealed the provisional suspension of the process, but Judge Carlos Alexandre rejected the appeal, after which the ‘incarnates’ appealed to the Lisbon Court of Appeal.

The “incarnates” contested the suspension for not having been heard or notified about it, claiming that they were not aware of the shelving of a case on a matter that concerned them.

After considering the decision of the Criminal Investigation Judge to suspend the process to be unappealable, it considers the decision handed down today that it would be useless to remit the case files to the JIC to rule on the request made by Benfica SAD, given that the practice of useless acts in the process is prohibited.

Benfica SAD’s lawyers, after knowing the decision of the appeal, consider that “the real issue at stake, which is the overcoming of the rights of the offended party / assistant by the right, in a provisional suspension of the process agreed and carried out really in secret” and that the Appeal “was based on the alleged irrevocability of the JIC’s order that agreed with the provisional suspension of the process”.

“This was the issue that we would like to see analyzed by the higher Courts, and it is indeed true that it seems to us that the JIC’s order is appealable, (…) and we will continue to do what we can to ensure that this is recognized and, so that we can analyze what really matters most in this case (…)”, the group of lawyers, composed of Rui Patrício, João Medeiros and Paulo Saragoça da Matta, told Lusa.

“Perhaps saying things even more directly: although the Court recognizes that the rights of the victim/assistant were overtaken by the right, it justifies its non-decision with an alleged irrevocability of the JIC’s order”, reinforce the lawyers.

Rui Pinto is being tried at the Central Criminal Court of Lisbon, in the Football Leaks case, whose indictment excluded suspicions of being the author of the theft of Benfica emails, in 2017.

The creator of the Football Leaks platform was in preventive detention from March 22, 2019 until April 8, 2020.

The change of the coercive measure was decided by the judge in charge of the case, Margarida Alves, following a request presented by the defendant’s defense asking for his release, taking into account the “continuous and consistent collaboration” with the Judiciary Police (PJ) and the “critical sense” of the creator of the Football Leaks platform, despite opposition from the MP.

Rui Pinto is on trial for 90 crimes: 68 of improper access, 14 of violation of correspondence, six of illegitimate access and also for computer sabotage of Sporting’s SAD and for attempted extortion of the Doyen investment fund.

In September 2019, the MP accused Rui Pinto of 147 crimes, 75 of which of illegitimate access, 70 of violation of correspondence, one of computer sabotage and one of attempted extortion, for accessing the computer systems of Sporting, Doyen, law firm PLMJ, the Portuguese Football Federation and the Attorney General’s Office (PGR).

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