Football Leaks: Suspected hacker to be extradited to Portugal

Rui Pinto
Suspected hacker Rui Pinto at court in Budapest for his extradition hearing

A suspected hacker involved with the Football Leaks website will be extradited to his native Portugal after a ruling in a Hungarian court.

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

He denies the charges and will appeal the extradition ruling.

The Football Leaks website was set up to reveal alleged corruption taking place in football.

"The extradition request cannot be refused," said judge Judit Csiszar at Budapest's Metropolitan Court.

"EU member states are expected to have similar judicial standards."

Pinto is reportedly the main suspect in the hacking of emails from Portuguese clubs Benfica, Sporting and Porto.

He was was accused by prosecutors of "aggravated attempted extortion, illegitimate access and theft of data from some institutions, including the state itself".

"I have not committed any of the criminal acts that I am accused of, I have never received any material gain for what I have done," Pinto said.

"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."

Up to 70 million documents have been provided by Football Leaks and more than 3.4 terabytes of information to media outlets in the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) consortium, which includes Reuters news agency and the Sunday Times.

The private documents that he allegedly hacked included damaging claims against Manchester City and Paris St-Germain as well as allegations clubs were colluding to set up a breakaway European Super League.

Pinto added: "Since the Sabado magazine (in Portugal) revealed my identity I have received several death threats, my family has been threatened at home and online.

"I should be on a witness protection scheme as exists for whistleblowers elsewhere in Europe.

"Instead, the Portuguese authorities are treating me like a criminal. It is in their interest that something bad happens to me."

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