The trial against the creator of Football Leaks Rui Pinto, who faces 90 charges including data theft, computer hacking and attempted extortion, begins today in Lisbon. A ‘hero’ for some and a ‘villain’ for others, the 31-year-old self-taught hacker exposed the alleged illegal practices and potential tax evasion schemes of top football players and clubs through the illegal access of private computer systems.
The ‘Rui Pinto case‘ has no parallel in the recent history of Portugual’s justice system and has provoked an international debate on the concept of so-called “whistleblowers”.
Pinto’s defence team, which includes lawyers William Bourdon (who has already represented whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden and Antoine Deltour), Francisco Teixeira da Mota and Luísa Teixeira da Mota argues that Pinto’s should be protected under the EU Directive on Whistleblower Protection, which was approved by the European Parliament in April 2019.
(Jorge Afonso Silva and João Godinho, Lusa.pt)