Asia Pacific / Crime & Legal

'Football Leaks' whistleblower also behind 'Luanda Leaks,' Rui Pinto's lawyers say

AFP-JIJI

The Portuguese hacker involved in the “Football Leaks” revelations is also the whistleblower behind the “Luanda Leaks” scandal embroiling the daughter of an ex-president, his lawyers said Monday.

Rui Pinto handed over “a hard-drive containing all data related to the recent revelations concerning Ms. Isabel Dos Santos’s fortune, her family’s and all the actors that might be involved in the fraudulent operations committed at the expense of the Angolan State,” said a statement from his lawyers.

The tycoon daughter of former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos has vowed to fight corruption allegations which have stretched across Angola’s state oil and diamond industries and banks.

Dos Santos has been accused of financial crimes during her tenure at Sonangol, Angola’s state-owned oil giant which she headed during her father’s rule.

Pinto had forwarded the hard drive to the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, his lawyers said.

Pinto had “sought to help understanding complex operations conducted with the complicity of banks and jurists which not only impoverish the people and the State of Angola, but may have seriously damaged Portugal’s general interest,” the statement said.

A Portuguese court decided on January 17 to go ahead with the trial of Rui Pinto, Teixeira da Mota said after a hearing in Lisbon, noting the number of offenses he has been charged with has been reduced to 90 from 147.

Pinto was extradited from Hungary last March for allegedly attempting to blackmail Doyen Sports, an investment fund, asking for between 500,000 and 1 million euros in return for not publishing documents he had obtained illegally from the computer systems of Doyen and of Sporting Lisbon.

His lawyers claim that he had abandoned his blackmail attempt on his own initiative.

They say Pinto is a “very important European whistleblower.”

The Football Leaks revelations allowed prosecutors in several countries, including Britain and France, to investigate possible wrongdoing in football.

Angolans call Isabel dos Santos “the princess,” and she is Africa’s richest woman according to Forbes, which estimates her assets at $2.1 billion.

Hundreds of companies, many based in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands, are alleged to have helped dos Santos accrue her fortune.

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