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Portuguese football whistleblower to face trial for 93 crimes in Lisbon

Lisbon, Jan 18 (Xinhua) The Lisbon Criminal Instruction Court has decided to bring Rui Pinto, the whistleblower creator of Football Leaks, to trial for 93 crimes.

These crimes include illegitimate access, misuse, correspondence, computer sabotage and attempted extortion, dropping 54 crimes of a total of 147 accused by the Portuguese public prosecutor.

Arrested in Budapest on January 16, 2019, the 31-year-old Portuguese became one of the names that have made the most impact in the soccer world by revealing on the Internet thousands of alleged illegal practices and potential millionaire schemes of tax evasion involving big names of football, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho or Pepe.

Ronaldo was accused of tax fraud, during the time he played for Real Madrid. The legal battle ended with an agreement signed with the Spanish tax authorities. He took the blame and agreed to pay 19 million euros to avoid a sentence in prison.

Rui Pinto is responsible for disclosing the documents and until his arrest, Pinto collaborated with the authorities of France, the United States, Germany and other countries.

According to Portuguese Lusa News Agency, "the Rui Pinto case has no parallel in the recent history of Portuguese justice and has provoked an international debate on the concept of 'whistleblower' and the balance between the right to privacy of people and companies, and the alleged public interest in information obtained through the Football Leaks platform."

In April 2019, the European Parliament adopted a whistleblower protection directive to cover people who wish to warn of possible breaches of EU law in various areas, including money laundering and tax fraud.

However, Pinto is not included in the directive, the report said.
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