Lawyers acting for 31-year-old whistleblower Rui Pinto – the young man who exposed the rot in the world of football (Football Leaks) and leaked hundreds of thousands of incriminating documents about the business dealings of African ‘billionaire’ Isabel dos Santos (Luanda Leaks) – are targeting Portugal ahead of his trial on 68 counts of illegal access.
They claim judicial authorities flouted European regulations over the extradition process.
Computer-genius Pinto was forcibly removed from police custody in Hungary over a year ago and has been held on remand ever since.
But according to his defence team, the crimes on the charge sheet are not those that appeared on the original European arrest warrant – and that constitutes an ‘irregularity’ (at the very least).
Pinto’s lawyers have long complained that Portugal’s treatment of their client has been disproportionate.
Said French attorney William Bourdon who has defended numerous whistleblowers in the past: “Europe protects whistleblowers, Portugal jails them…” (click here)
The female judge who heard the initial ‘instruction phase’ of Pinto’s case has deemed that the extradition warrant was legal.
It is now up to counterparts in Europe to see if they agree with her.