From the arrest in Hungary in 2019 to today, Rui Pinto's life has been turned 'upside down' for blowing the whistle on corruption. He has admitted, if he knew then what he knows now, he would never have tried

Whistleblower loses battle against extradition to Portugal

The so-called Football Leaks whistleblower – a young man who hasn’t minced his words over what he thinks of Portuguese ‘justice’ – has just lost his battle against extradition to Portugal from Hungary, where he has been living since 2015.

Despite telling the court earlier this month that he feared for his life if sent back to Portugal, 31-year-old Rui Pinto learnt today that this is precisely what is going to happen.

Say reports, the transfer will take place within the next 10 days.

Pinto was initially held under house arrest, but has since been moved to a Hungarian jail.

Authorities in Portugal have accused him of six crimes: two of illegitimate access (via computer), two of the violation of secrets, one of an offence against a collective person, and another of attempted extortion.

Pinto is believed to have been the source behind the damning ‘Football Leaks’ dossier picked up by international journalists and splashed across the world’s media (click here).

Uncomfortable with the label ‘computer hacker’, Pinto has told reporters that he believes he has become a ‘target to take down’ by all those involved in the business dealings he set about denouncing.

He stressed repeatedly that Portugal is not ‘safe’, particularly when it comes to his safety.

Says Diário de Notícias today, at issue is Pinto’s “access to the IT systems of Sporting Clube de Portugal and the investment fund ‘Doyen Sports’, based in Malta, which allowed him to publish confidential documents” including player contracts and contracts celebrated between Doyen and various other companies connected to football.

MEP appeals for Pinto’s protection

Anti-corruption MEP Ana Gomes has been quick to say that protection should be awarded anybody who blows the whistle on cases of corruption and tax evasion within the European Union.

Gomes, who is the vice-chair of the European committee that recently called for an end to Portugal’s golden visas (click here) has stressed that while we don’t know how Pinto got his information, it has been undeniably in the public interest, and “has already helped several European authorities go after corrupt people and recuperate millions that had been hidden from taxes”.

One of the highest profile cases recently was that of Portugal’s own football hero, Cristiano Ronaldo, found guilty of tax evasion and fined a whopping 18.8 million euros (click here).

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