Belgian justice demands access to documents on alleged corruption in football acquired by imprisoned hacker Rui Pinto

At the heart of the Belgian investigation is the Israeli player agent Pini Zahavi, who brokered the arrival of Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017

Agence France-Presse January 28, 2019 20:39:40 IST
Belgian justice demands access to documents on alleged corruption in football acquired by imprisoned hacker Rui Pinto
  • Belgian justice wants access to documents on alleged corruption in football acquired by Portuguese hacker Rui Pinto who is under arrest in Budapest

  • Pinto is linked to the website nicknamed 'Football Leaks', whose revelations, the Belgian press reported, led the courts to order a series of searches in November

  • At the heart of the investigation is the Israeli player agent Pini Zahavi, who brokered the arrival of Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017

Brussels: Belgian justice wants access to documents on alleged corruption in football acquired by Portuguese hacker Rui Pinto who is under arrest in Budapest, the prosecutor's office said on Monday.

Belgian justice demands access to documents on alleged corruption in football acquired by imprisoned hacker Rui Pinto

Representational image. Reuters

"We confirm the interest of the Belgian federal prosecutor," spokesman Eric Van Duyse told AFP, refusing to add any details.

However, a lawyer in France had told French media that Pinto's legal representative have contacted the Belgian prosecutor, who is interested.

"He confirmed his willingness to cooperate with Pinto and, if possible, to access the data as soon as possible," William Bourdon told the French news site Mediapart on Friday,

Pinto is linked to the website nicknamed 'Football Leaks', whose revelations, the Belgian press reported, led the courts to order a series of searches in November, as part of an investigation for fraud and money laundering centred around Royal Excel Mouscron football club.

At the heart of the investigation is the Israeli player agent Pini Zahavi, who brokered the arrival of Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017. Zahavi is suspected by the Belgian justice of illegally controlling Mouscron.

Pinto was arrested in Hungary on 17 January on a Portuguese warrant. His lawyers have said he is an "important part" of the Football Leaks whistleblower website, which has published a series of revelations about alleged wrongdoing in the football industry.

Containing millions of pirated documents, the 'Football Leaks' were posted in two tranches, the first at the end of 2016 and the second in November 2018. They revealed tax evasion, notably by Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as possible fraud and corruption in the world of football, involving UEFA, the governing body of European football, several star players and club directors.

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