Football Leaks hacker to be extradited to Portugal
CGTN

A suspected hacker involved with the Football Leaks website will be extradited to his native Portugal after a ruling in a Hungarian court on Tuesday, a move his lawyers oppose as they defend him as a "whistleblower" and not a criminal.

Rui Pinto, 30, was detained on a European arrest warrant issued by Portugal on January 16 in the Hungarian capital where he lives.

"The extradition request cannot be refused. EU member states are expected to have similar judicial standards," said judge Judit Csiszar at Budapest's Metropolitan Court.

Pinto, under house arrest for more than seven weeks, is accused by Portuguese prosecutors of "aggravated attempted extortion, illegitimate access and theft of data from some institutions, including the state itself."

Rui Pinto (R) is escorted by a judicial officer as he arrives at the Metropolitan Court in Budapest, Hungary, for his trial, March 5, 2019. /VCG Photo

Rui Pinto (R) is escorted by a judicial officer as he arrives at the Metropolitan Court in Budapest, Hungary, for his trial, March 5, 2019. /VCG Photo

Pinto denies the charges and will appeal the extradition ruling.

His French lawyer William Bourdon, "We have very solid reasons to expect a favorable decision."

Pinto said he hoped a higher court in Hungary would take into account "how damaging this decision could be for European collaboration on matters of football criminality."

"I appreciate all the support that me and Football Leaks received. I hope the support will increase now, I did this for the public, for all the football fans," Pinto said.

The Football Leaks website includes emails, contracts and presentations relating to soccer clubs, exposing alleged corruption and sparking investigations in several European countries.

Released in two segments, the first at the end of 2016 and the second in November 2018, the documents exposed alleged football-related tax evasion, notably by Cristiano Ronaldo when he was at Real Madrid.

Other revelations alleged UEFA had helped Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City get around the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules that are meant to regulate clubs' spending.

Source(s): AFP