The pre-hearing, an optional phase where a criminal investigation judge (JIC) decides if the case proceeds and in what manner for trial, was requested by the defence of the two defendants in the case, Rui Pinto and the lawyer Aníbal Pinto, and will take place at the Criminal Investigation Court of Lisbon on Wednesday at 10.30 a.m.

The public prosecutor charged Pinto with 147 crimes on 19 September, 75 of which relate to illegitimate access, 70 to violation of correspondence - seven of these deemed serious - one of computer sabotage and one of attempted extortion, for accessing the computer systems of Sporting, of investment fund Doyen, of the law firm PLMJ, of the Portuguese Football Federation and the office of Portugal’s attorney-general, and subsequently releasing dozens of confidential documents from these entities.

The PLMJ law firm is defending Lisbon football club Benfica in the so-called ‘e-Mole’ case.

The charge sheet against Pinto, which Lusa has seen, states that between 6 November 2018 and 7 January 2019 the defendant accessed the computers of the office of the attorney-general a total of 307 times and obtained documents from cases including those relating to the arms theft at the Tancos depot, the collapse of Banco Espírito Santo and Operation Marquês, in which a former prime minister is charged with fraud.

Between January 2018 and January 2019, Pinto leafed through the files of 12 further cases that are still covered by judicial secrecy.

Pinto, 30, who has been in detention since 22 March, was first detained in Hungary and then handed over to the Portuguese authorities based on a European Arrest Warrant only relating to alleged illegal access to the computer systems of Sporting and Doyen.

Pinto is also suspected of being responsible for the theft of emails from Benfica in 2017.

The charge sheet states that from the beginning of 2015 until 16 January 2019, Pinto had technical knowledge and equipment that allowed him to illegally access third party computer systems and emails without detection.