A small group of people present in the galleries of the Assembly of the Republic interrupted this Thursday, briefly, the parliamentary work by asking for “freedom” for Rui Pinto, creator of Football Leaks and author of the revelations of the Luanda Leaks case.
Parliament was discussing a petition and bills from various parties about animals, when a group of half a dozen people in the galleries, wearing white t-shirts, stood up and shouted "freedom for Rui Pinto".
Immediately, the vice-president of the Assembly of the Republic, Edite Estrela, who presided over the work, asked the agents of the authority to warn these people of the prohibition of demonstrating in the galleries, and were later removed.
The mini-protest took place on the day a manifesto was released in which more than a hundred personalities linked to politics, sport, culture, journalism and education asked for Rui Pinto's release.
The manifesto, which has among its subscribers the former ministers José Vera Jardim and Miguel Poiares Maduro, the coordinator of the Left Block, Catarina Martins, MEPs, the writer José Eduardo Agualusa, comedians, journalists, lawyers and former athletes, among others, calls for Rui Pinto's “end of pre-trial detention”.
“The fact that Rui Pinto was at the origin of revelations of unequivocal public interest that gave rise to journalistic investigations conducted by international consortia, such as Football Leaks and Luanda Leaks, amply justifies that the Portuguese authorities, just as the authorities of other countries, recognize the importance of the information brought by them to the public and seek the collaboration of Rui Pinto, thus demonstrating that Portugal is truly committed to fighting corruption, money laundering and other criminal offenses ”, reads the petition .
On January 17 this year, the Lisbon Criminal Instruction Court decided to put Rui Pinto on trial for 90 crimes of illegitimate access, improper access, violation of correspondence, computer sabotage and extortion attempt, but dropped 57 of the 147 crimes for which accused had been accused by the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP), pending the date for the start of the trial.
About two weeks later, on February 4, the Lisbon Court of Appeal dismissed the defense of the creator of Football Leaks and kept Rui Pinto in custody.
In preventive detention since March 22, 2019, Rui Pinto, 30, was arrested in Hungary on January 16, 2019 and handed over to the Portuguese authorities, on the basis of a European arrest warrant, which only covered illegal access to computer systems. Sporting and the company Doyen, but which would later be extended at the request of the Portuguese authorities.
In September 2019, the Public Ministry (MP) accused Rui Pinto of 147 crimes, 75 of which were illegitimate access, 70 of violation of correspondence, seven of them aggravated, one of computer sabotage and one of extortion attempt, for accessing the systems. information technology from Sporting, Doyen, the PLMJ law firm, the Portuguese Football Federation and the Attorney General's Office, and subsequent disclosure of dozens of confidential documents from these entities.