PJ police chief Luís Neves has come close to proposing a whistleblowers’ charter, thus supporting a fleeting announcement made earlier this year by justice minister Francisca Van Dunem (click here).
With the trial of Portuguese ‘whistleblower’ Rui Pinto fast approaching, the absence in Portugal of this mechanism has long been a real bone of contention (click here).
Initially, when 32-year-old computer genius Pinto was taken into police custody, he was described as refusing to cooperate with investigators – basically because they insisted on treating him as a criminal.
The young man whose ‘investigations’ have resulted in Football Leaks (click here), Luanda Leaks (click here) and quite a bit else in between, has since started fully cooperating with police (click here).
This appears to have been the turning point that prompted Luís Neves’ unprecedented appeal.
In interview with Diário de Notícias Neves said it is “urgent” that the legal status of repentance be created, to reward people who decide to collaborate with Justice – particularly when this leads to accusations against organised crime, or groups involved in corruption.
Hypocrisy has to be put to one side, he stressed – hypocrisy being a criticism of Portugal’s treatment to date of Rui Pinto, who the PJ police chief describes as a young man with serious concerns for society.
“The perspective that people who help cases are then condemned is terrible”, Neves insisted, adding that he feels confident that after Pinto’s ‘trial’ the young man “will have a normal life in IT”.
This is the first concrete sign that Portuguese authorities are softening their stance towards Pinto who has been in police custody now since March 2019 and still faces trial for a dizzying number of crimes (click here).