Hacker Rui Pinto fails in appeal and will stand trial for more than 90 crimes after ‘football leaks’ revelations that sent shockwaves through the sport
- Rui Pinto gained access to email systems from clubs and had details published
- He sent information to German media who then printed remarkable stories
- Portuguese hacker’s leaks sparked FFP investigation into Manchester City
- His appeal was dismissed as ‘unfounded’ and 31-year-old will stand trial
Rui Pinto – the hacker whose actions sent shockwaves through football – has failed in an appeal and will stand trial accused of more than 90 crimes.
The Portuguese gained access to a number of email systems from clubs throughout Europe and published them via German media.
Revelations disclosed in the information the 31-year-old obtained prompted UEFA to open an investigation into whether Manchester City breached Financial Fair Play rules. That probe remains ongoing and a verdict – which could see City banished from the Champions League – is expected in the near future.
Rui Pinto will stand trial for more than 90 crimes in total after failing in his appeal
Leaked information discovered by Pinto sparked an investigation into Manchester City
However, Pinto, who has many followers who see him as a force for good, saw an appeal dismissed as ‘unfounded’ earlier this month at the Lisbon Court of Appeal. He will remain in prison, where he has been since last March, and will eventually answer more than 90 charges, relating to hacking, sabotage and extortion.
Meanwhile, City await to hear the outcome of the UEFA probe. In November, Etihad Stadium officials attempted to get the matter thrown out by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
City claimed their ‘personality rights’ were violated when news of a recommendation for a one-season Champions League ban from UEFA’s chief financial investigator Yves Leterme was leaked and accused the investigatory committee of UEFA’s Club Financial Control Board of ‘unlawful activities’.
The Portuguese hacker gained access to email systems of clubs across Europe
Their bid was unsuccessful but the full findings, issued earlier this week, may have made for uncomfortable reading at UEFA HQ.
CAS said that the alleged leaking of information by UEFA was ‘worrisome’. It added that City’s complaints over the leaks do not ‘appear to be entirely without merit’.
The panel also said that it was puzzled as to how Leterme who responded aggressively to City’s claims branding them ‘groundless in the merits and unacceptable in tone’ could be ‘so confident to “vehemently reject” (City’s) allegations’.
CAS also noted that City could bring another appeal to them in future, after UEFA’s investigation has concluded and should they be unsatisfied with the decision.
City await to hear the outcome of the probe which could result in a Champions League ban
UEFA launched the probe after the data, obtained via Pinto’s Football Leaks, went public.
It appeared to show the club had falsely inflated sponsorship deals from firms linked to their Abu Dhabi ownership in an alleged attempt to circumvent UEFA’s financial fair play rules. City deny the allegations.
Leterme’s subsequent recommendation for a one-season ban was published in the New York Times last May, days before UEFA announced the case would go to their adjudicatory chamber for a decision that is still to be delivered.