The accusation of extortion in the attempted form against Aníbal Pinto in the Football Leaks process “was the glue for the preventive arrest of Rui Pinto”, considered this Thursday the defense, which claimed the innocence of the lawyer.
“This pronouncement against Aníbal Pinto is the glue for the preventive arrest of Rui Pinto. It was necessary to make him silent and they used the ‘glue’ Aníbal Pinto, this extortion in the attempted form, to sustain the arrest”, said the lawyer João Azevedo, at this Thursday’s session of the Football Leaks trial.
In the final allegations, the lawyer questioned the credibility of the work of the Judiciary Police (PJ) inspectors who were involved in the surveillance operation of the meeting between the former CEO of the investment fund Doyen, Nélio Lucas, and his collaborator Pedro Henriques with the defendant Aníbal Pinto, in the service area of the A5 motorway, in Oeiras, on October 22, 2015.
João Azevedo once again criticized the External Due Diligence Report (RDE) of the meeting, made by the PJ, considering that it “was tailored to the interests of Doyen and Nélio Lucas”, noting that, unlike his client, the lawyer da Doyen knew the meeting was being monitored.
The defender considered that Aníbal Pinto, accused of the crime of attempted extortion and for whom the Public Ministry (MP) asked for a conviction, deserved two medals, one for having “religiously” complied with the statute of the Order of Lawyers (OA) and another for having “turned down the offer of one million euros [feita por Nélio Lucas] to identify your customer [Rui Pinto]”.
João Azevedo tried to contradict the accusation that Aníbal Pinto had intermediated, with the intention of also profiting, an attempt to extort Rui Pinto from Doyen, stating that the defendant was limited to “representing a client in a legal act”.
“Aníbal Pinto did not commit the crime imputed to him, and, pending negotiations, abandoned the matter, having informed Rui Pinto of this abandonment, and conjectured the possibility of irregularities”, said the lawyer, adding that the defendant “did everything in his power reach for Rui Pinto to act in the same way, that is, to abandon the negotiations”.
The lawyer also stated that Aníbal Pinto questioned OA about whether he should denounce Rui Pinto to the authorities, recalling that he was told that he should comply with the statute of the order, that is, not to denounce.
The lawyer countered the MP’s accusation that Aníbal Pinto wanted to receive fees far above what was practiced, recalling that “since Rui Pinto’s first contact, Aníbal Pinto always wrote that he would never agree with any irregularity”, reading an email message sent by your client to Artem Lobuzov [nome utilizado por Rui Pinto].
João Azevedo alleged that Aníbal Pinto was “instigated, provoked and deceived” by Pedro Henriques, who accused him of having acted as “a provocateur”, and claimed his acquittal.
At the beginning of the session, the second dedicated to final arguments, Rita Castanheira Barros, representative of OA, assistant in the process, considered that Rui Pinto “owes a sincere apology” to all the lawyers who saw their mailboxes invaded.
“The haughtiness taken until the last minute removes any sincere regret. The lawyers deserved an apology”, said the lawyer, adding that Rui Pinto “was comfortably on the sofa at home watching the life of a law firm, but he understands that this is legitimized by the public interest”.
Bearing in mind the reason why OA became an assistant in the process, the lawyer did not ask for any condemnation, but considered that “the professional secrecy of lawyers must be protected, under penalty of collapsing the justice system itself”.
“If everything goes to reach the computer superstar, all the defendants will no longer have a person to trust”, he said.
The trial continues on Friday, with the intervention of Rui Pinto’s lawyer, Francisco Teixeira da Mota, and possibly the two defendants, if they so wish. The session should be attended by William Bourdon, a French lawyer who is also involved in the defense of the creator of the Football Leaks platform.
On Wednesday, the MP asked for Rui Pinto, creator of the Football Leaks electronic platform, to be sentenced to prison for 89 of the 90 crimes he is accused of in the process.
In the final allegations of the Football Leaks process, which began on September 4, 2020, Marta Viegas, prosecutor of the MP, considered that the only unproven crime was computer sabotage to Sporting’s SAD.
Marta Viegas also considered it proven that the other defendant in the case, lawyer Aníbal Pinto, should be convicted of the crime of attempted extortion, for which he is accused.
Rui Pinto, 34 years old, 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 for extortion, in the attempted form. This last crime concerns Doyen and was what also led to the pronunciation of lawyer Aníbal Pinto.