According to the indictment on Thursday, the case against Pinto is limited to his targeting of Portuguese entities, including the top-division soccer team Sporting Clube de Portugal, the national soccer federation, a well-known law firm and even the country’s attorney general’s office.
The indictment, reviewed by The New York Times, said Pinto accessed the email accounts of some of Sporting’s most senior officials, including the club’s president and coach, before extracting dozens of player agreements that he then published.
The indictment also detailed the hack of Doyen and a subsequent incident in which Pinto is accused of assuming the identity Artem Lobuzov as part of an extortion attempt and contacting the firm’s chief executive, Nelio Lucas, in October 2015 to offer him the chance to prevent the release of the firm’s documents in return for a “generous donation” of between 500,000 and 1 million euros.
Anibal Pinto, a lawyer hired by Rui Pinto to negotiate with Doyen officials, also has been charged in the case. The negotiations lasted about a month before breaking down; a cache of Doyen’s documents started emerging on Football Leaks in early November 2015.
Pinto’s actions in releasing information through Football Leaks have been championed by European anticorruption and transparency groups, and his case has been taken up by Bourdon, a French lawyer known for representing other high-profile individuals who leaked sensitive information into the public domain, including the former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
News of the charges against Pinto first leaked in the Portuguese news media early Thursday, hours before the prosecutor’s office released its statement, and a day before indictment was sent to Pinto’s lawyers.
“It really shows the dysfunction and media frenzy that whoever is behind the accusation against Pinto is trying to achieve,” said Ana Gomes, a former Portuguese representative to the European Parliament, and one of Pinto’s backers.