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Portuguese hacker in Football Leaks scandal handed 6-month suspended sentence by French court | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


A Portuguese hacker whose bombshell revelations on the “FootballLeaks” website rocked European soccer was convicted Wednesday by a Paris court and given a suspended prison sentence of six months.

Rui Pinto accepted the sentence proposed by the public prosecutor for hacking into Paris Saint-Germain executives, French media reported. He was also ordered to pay one euro in damages to PSG, which had sued as a civil party, as well as 4,000 euros ($4,360) in legal costs.

The 35-year-old Pinto reportedly expressed his desire to cooperate with justice authorities in Europe and France’s financial prosecutor.

The Paris court ruling followed Pinto’s conviction in September by a Lisbon court of nine crimes. In that case, he was given a suspended prison sentence of four years.

Pinto’s disclosures embarrassed star players, top clubs and influential agents between 2015-18 and helped drive official investigations across Europe.

The website published information about the transfer fees and salaries of such stars as Neymar, then at Barcelona, Radamel Falcao at Monaco and Gareth Bale at Real Madrid. It also alleged that Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain flouted European soccer’s spending rules.

During his Paris trial, Pinto admitted that he illegally extracted data from the mailboxes belonging to PSG’s financial director, deputy general manager and a general management assistant, between 2015 and 2019, Le Parisien newspaper said.

“I accept the facts you accuse me of. I don’t see why we should prolong a trial any longer. I’ve already been in the middle of a judicial bureaucracy for five years in Portugal for facts that may be similar to those for which I’m here now,” he was quoted as saying.

After his arrest, Pinto spent 18 months in pre-trial detention in Lisbon, including seven months in isolation, before being released after starting to cooperate with Portuguese police and entering a witness protection program.

When he was extradited from Hungary, from where he hacked computers, to Portugal in 2015 to stand trial, Pinto was poised to enter a witness protection program in France, according to Pinto’s lawyers.

Pinto was granted amnesty for dozens of other crimes as part of a wider government decree giving pardons for lesser offenses that marked the visit to Portugal last month of Pope Francis.

In a second case against Pinto that still has to be tried, Portuguese prosecutors are accusing him of 377 hacking-related crimes.

That case could also take years to reach a verdict under the slow-moving Portuguese legal system.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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