What is happening with Rui Pinto, the hacker that was behind Football Leaks and whose extradition was asked by Doyen, in Portugal?
He"s at home, the prosecutor put an appeal very quickly, and we have to prepare ourselves, hoping that the house arrest decision will be confirmed.
You expect him not to be sent to Portugal?
We consider there exists very strong reasons to reject the extradition request. It"s a european warrant, and we know that the margins of "manouvre" are not big.. Anyway there is jurisprudence. There have been some decisions that have been ruled. For example I defended Falsani in Swiss Leaks - and he was acquited in all the charges, including the intrusion in computer systems. He was not extradited from Spain to Swiss. And in addition to that there is a very crucial point - it will be extremely paradoxical to send back him to Portugal as long as he is engaged in active cooperation with the financial prosecutor in France, and is willing to cooperate with a prosecutor in swiss. This participation is not limited to criminal investigation but I know that some foreign tax administration expect also his cooperation, in Germany. All this could permit public treasury to collect huge amount of money, fines, tax penalties in the interest of the european tax payer. And I add there are no doubts that the portuguese tax administration is interested also.
Can you explain why the extradition would forbid that cooperation?
There are two reasons. One: it's not only the french or swiss prosecutor, it's other which wish to have access to all the documents to consolidate very important inquiries they open. The extradition of Rui Pinto could imply also the possibility for portuguese agents to try to recuperate part of all the material which has been seized. It"s clear that this jurisprudence and the new recommendations of the European Parliament, and regulation coming from the EU, etc... , consider that a whistleblower, if he provides main services to public interest has to be protected. And there is a balance between the judiciary importance and his benefits to european consumer, tax payer. This balance has to be envisaged in counter part with the reality of the offenses. The offence is minor, hacking. I repeat that the offense of extortion is firmly denied, and will demonstrate without difficulties his innocence.
"It's not a national inquiry of Portugal. Those documents can be used by Portugal only if it precisely and without any doubt linked to the charges which are the base to the warrant."
Today the media is saying that the computers were seized and they will be sent to Portugal to be investigated...
No. No No. It's an extradition request and this can apply to some documents. There is a principle very important: speciality. Those documents can only be used by Portugal if they are precisely linked to the charges.
That means that the portuguese police cannot collect anything other that the Doyen case - nothing about the emails or any other process?
No. No. No. It's not a national inquiry of Portugal. It's an extradition request. And this can imply to seize some documents. But those documents can be used by Portugal only if it precisely and without any doubt linked to the charges which are the base to the warrant.
The Doyen case?
Nothing about the other cases?
Nothing else. I dont have access to the portuguese case, but it seems there are two cases liked to Doyen. And it cannot be spread to any other story. Otherwise it will be illegal.
If the portuguese police tries to bring the computers to Portugal that would be illegal according to international law?
Absolutely. They cannot recuperate pieces of evidence that are not linked to the case.
He's always denied being the person behind the email leaks that provoked a big crisis between Porto and Benfica and two judicial cases. Have you spoken to him about this?
No. We know that there are some charges in two stories because of Doyen complaints. For the rest I cannot say anything. Rui Pinto reserves his positon.
"Rui Pinto was a supporter of Porto Club, I guess. And he's just been disgusted and revolted by what he discovered."
Is Rui Pinto the only person behind the football leaks?
Nobody said that. He's part of football leaks and the paradox is that what is in Portugal considered as the base of the charge is considered as crucial pieces of evidence for many prosecutors and TAX administration in Europe to consolidate and to spread their investigation. This is the main antagonisme which has to be considered.
Did you talk to him? Does he have any notion of what he's involved in?
He's proves that he has received death threats, he's been harassed. That some undergound people have tried to identify and capture him and attempt to his integrity. He's aware, yes.
What image do you have of Rui Pinto?
He's a very smart young man. Very gentle. Very humanist. humble and he was a supporter of Porto Club, I guess. And he's just been disgusted and revolted by what he discovered.
When did you get in touch with his case?
I've been in touch with him since many months.
Who is paying for his defence?
The SignalsNetwork he's paying for his lawyers in Portugal and Hungary. And not for me of course as I am a member of the board
Is he prepared to cooperate with the portuguese police?
He reserves his answer, waiting for the evolution of the situation. We are concerned by the fact that portguese police would like to recuperate all the documents. And we are concerned on the utilization that could be done of these documents.. These documents could only be used agaist my client and skipped the much more important investigations engaged against the criminal world which come across with the footbal leaks - not only in Portugal, but crucially in Portugal. And that they'll be used only to target my client.
You've defended some whistleblowers. Why do they choose to act themsleves, why don't they use the normal police forces, and judiciary system. Doesn't that work against them?
Consider the case of Antoine Deltour, in Louxembourg Leaks. He knew that internally in Price Water House he had no chance to obtain any consideration of some information he had access, as long as this information are the base of the wealth of the company. You have to consider the fact that when some whislteblower has to deal with main public interest, and public resources, he is at risk . The judiciary system would crimminalize heavily what he has to do. The more some powers want to maintain their impunity, the more they oblige whistleblowers to disobey and to violate, sometimes, the law. Infringements, getting into in computers, all of this to permit this public debate. And also to permit the judicial authorities to put up investigations.The reality is that whistleblowers create a new contradiction between judges themselves. Many prosecutors want to have access to this material to question, interview, vis a vis other judges that want to maintain the silence, to recuperate all the documents without holding any consequences.
How was it so easy for him to get all these documents?
He reserved his answer. But his was the consequence of the arrogance of all this world. Which feels they can continue to act in complete immunity. and It's not true.
What are the next steps?
To avoid his extradition and to set the cooperation with many prosecuters all over Europe.
Will you come to Portugal?
I think so.