LISBON – A Lisbon court on Monday handed a four-year suspended prison sentence to Rui Pinto, the Portuguese man behind the Football Leaks website, for attempted extortion and illegal access to data and correspondence, Judge Margarida Alves said.
The 34-year-old former history student and self-taught computer mastermind set up the website in 2015 to share confidential documents such as transfer fees or deals between sports entities.
Pinto was arrested in Hungary in January 2019, though he was later freed from house arrest and put under witness protection. The trial started in September 2020.
He faced 90 charges including unauthorised access to data, violation of correspondence and attempted extortion. While acknowledging the release of the more than 70 million documents, he argued that he was a whistleblower acting in the public interest.
Pinto’s targets included the football club Sporting, the Portuguese Football Federation, investment fund Doyen Sports and law firm PLMJ. REUTERS
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