Computer hacker or whistleblower acting in the public interest? This is the question that will become central in the legal battle that has seen 31-year-old Rui Pinto extradited from Hungary on charges of unauthorised IT access, violation of secrets and alleged extortion (click here).
As we write this text, Pinto has been handed over by Hungarian authorities to elements of the Portuguese PJ and is believed to be on a flight back to Portugal.
Here he will be remanded in custody and presented before a judge who must make a decision on what comes next within 48 hours.
Pinto has maintained throughout this saga that he regrets nothing, would do it all again, and was only seeking to expose the rot at the heart of the money-spinning world of football.
He has decried the state of justice in Portugal, intimated that he fears for his life, and cast multiple aspersions on the establishment as a whole here.
Says a report in one of Portugal’s football news websites today: “the government has guaranteed that Rui Pinto will be kept in safety like all other prisoners who are in the custody of the State”.
Pinto and his lawyers, meantime, are expected to try everything they can to win his freedom pending further court hearings.
Updates to follow.