In the defence, handed over to the Central Criminal Court of Lisbon, and to which the Lusa news agency had access to, the defendant’s defence maintains that, “in addition to the facts in question and the number of witnesses presented by the prosecution” of the Public Ministry, “he intends to show that all the witnesses are necessary for the discovery of the truth”.

Former MEP Ana Gomes, who has always defended Rui Pinto, is the first on the list of witnesses, which includes other names linked to politics, such as ex-coordinator of the Left Block (BE) Francisco Louçã and ex-minister Miguel Poiares Maduro and sports personalities, such as former Sporting President Bruno de Carvalho, Benfica coach Jorge Jesus, and Octávio Machado.

The national director of the PJ, Luís Neves, and Edward Snowden, former systems administrator of the United States National Security Agency (CIA), who revealed in 2013, confidential information and illegal espionage programmes, are other witnesses listed in the defence signed by lawyers Francisco and Luísa Teixeira da Mota.

Rui Pinto’s defence also listed the Angolan journalist and civil rights activist Rafael Marques, sports commentator Rui Santos, Paulo de Morais, former vice president of the Board - Transparency and Integrity, Civic Association and former presidential candidate, as well as several foreign nationals as witnesses.

Nélio Lucas, former administrator of Doyen, an investment fund which was the target of an extortion attempt (between €500,000 and €1 million) carried out by Rui Pinto in October 2015, with the intermediation of the lawyer Aníbal Pinto (second defendant in the case), in exchange for Rui Pinto not revealing confidential documents of Doyen, is another of the witnesses indicated.

Although in the indictment (decision to bring Rui Pinto to trial) Judge Cláudia Pina considered that it was “legal and that there was no violation of a fair trial” for Rui Pinto, regarding the extension of the original European Arrest Warrant (EAW), requested by the Portuguese authorities and authorised by Hungary, which allowed the Portuguese justice to extend the investigation and indictment to Rui Pinto, the defence of the defendant reiterates the “illegality” of this extension of the EAW.

In their defence, the lawyers also consider that the search of Rui Pinto’s residence in Budapest, and the consequent seizure of computer devices, was carried out by an “illegal criminal police agency”.

Rui Pinto starts to be tried on 4 September for 90 crimes: 68 of undue access, 14 of violation of correspondence, six of illegitimate access and also for computer sabotage to Sporting’s SAD and for extortion of the Doyen investment fund.

Aníbal Pinto, Rui Pinto’s lawyer at the time of the alleged crimes, will be tried for the extortion attempt on Doyen.

Rui Pinto, creator of the Football Leaks platform and who is also responsible for the Luanda Leaks process, in which Angolan Isabel dos Santos is the main target, is currently in the witness protection programme in an undisclosed location and under police protection for security reasons.

In early June, the Lisbon Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal from the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) and upheld the instructional decision, handed down on 17 January, which pronounced (brought to trial) Rui Pinto for 90 crimes and not for the 147 that were in the MP’s indictment.

In September 2019, the MP accused Rui Pinto of 147 crimes, 75 of which for illegitimate access, 70 for mail violation, one for computer sabotage and one for attempted extortion for accessing the computer systems of Sporting, Doyen, PLMJ Law Firm, the Portuguese Football Federation and the Attorney General’s Office (PGR).