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Football Leaks. Rui Pinto’s defense asks for the removal of the prosecutor

Rui Pinto’s defense asked on Tuesday the removal of the prosecutor responsible for the Football Leaks case, due to a meeting with inspectors from the Judiciary Police (PJ) after the beginning of the trial to “fine tune the strategy” of inquiry.

According to the request for an incident of refusal by prosecutor Marta Viegas, presented by lawyers Francisco Teixeira da Mota and Luísa Teixeira da Mota, “the mere initiative and realization of such a meeting is enough to, by itself, call into question the maintenance of the Mrs. Prosecutor representing the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) in the present case”, thus joining the request also made by the other defendant: Aníbal Pinto.

“The defendants, the court and the Justice cannot accept that, pending a trial in the context of a criminal proceeding, the prosecutor in charge of the case at the trial stage meets with the witnesses indicated by the defendant’s defense to fine-tune the strategy. of your inquiry”, can be read in the document that Lusa had access to, after the “Observer” provided the information on Monday night.

The meeting in question took place on September 8, 2020, four days after the start of the trial, and was attended by Rogério Bravo, Paulo Abalada, José Garcia, José Amador and Hugo Monteiro, in addition to the prosecutor. However, the existence of the meeting was only revealed in April 2022, when PJ inspector Aida Freitas (who was called and was not present) attached – in the context of the confrontation with colleague Hugo Monteiro – an email sent by José Amador in which he called on his colleagues to “fine tune the strategy for the inquiry”.

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Recalling the principles of “strict legality, exemption and impartiality” of the MP, Rui Pinto’s defense considers that the “principles and duties are not compatible with meetings, pending the trial”, between the MP and the witnesses and criticizes a alleged use of the magistrate because elements of the PJ were involved.

“Nothing can justify the MP meeting with the witnesses presented by the defense, taking advantage of the fact that such witnesses are State employees, in this case inspectors of the Judiciary Police, subject to hierarchical power, to refine strategies on the facts on which the they will testify”, says the request, adding that “the aforementioned inspectors had already completed any type of assistance to the MP”.

Therefore, the lawyers of the creator of the electronic platform “Football Leaks” point to the creation of “a state of strong distrust” around the MP’s performance, reiterating that “it cannot sustain the accusation at “all costs”” and that there is a breach of the “duties of impartiality and respect for legality”.

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Rui Pinto’s defense already points out the unconstitutionality “for violating the principle of judicial impartiality” and argues that “meeting with the witnesses of one of the defendants during the trial to fine-tune their interrogation strategy is, precisely, to obscure the discovery of the truth , hinder the realization of the right and violate criteria of objectivity”, noting that the testimonies of the PJ elements lost their spontaneity.

“To keep the prosecutor in question as the holder of the present case is to break (rather than preserve) the trust that the courts and the justice system must offer”, reads the application, which concludes: “In view of the foregoing, the defendant Rui Pinto cannot fail to request (…) the refusal of the prosecutor, imposing her immediate replacement”.

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The request for an incident of refusal has suspended the trial for the time being, which was already in the final stretch, and will now be decided by the prosecutor’s hierarchical superior.

Rui Pinto, 33, 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 7, 2020, “due to his collaboration” with the Judiciary Police (PJ) and his “critical sense”, but is, for security reasons, included in the witness protection in an undisclosed location and under police protection.

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