Hero or villain? Whistleblower Pinto named as source of Luanda Leaks

January 28 – Rui Pinto, the Portuguese whistleblower whose string of incriminating revelations shook the footballing world before he was controversially extradited from Hungary to his native Portugal,  has now been named as the source of leaked documents about the business dealings of Africa’s richest woman. 

The resulting global investigation – led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and dubbed the Luanda Leaks – shows how Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of the former Angolan president, made hundreds of millions of dollars, aided in part by her father’s 38-year rule of Angola.

The more than 715,000 documents, shared with 35 other news organizations, reportedly show how dos Santos managed to build up a $2 billion fortune.

Dos Santos, who has denied the allegations, is nevertheless under criminal investigation by the authorities in Angola for corruption and her assets in the country have been frozen.

Pinto’s lawyer, William Bourdon, was quoted as saying: “These revelations should allow for new investigations to be launched and thus help in the fight against impunity for financial crimes in Angola and in the world.”

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) director Gerard Ryle added: “The leaking of this material to PPLAAF, and in turn to ICIJ’s media partners, provided indisputable evidence of unnecessary misery that was inflicted on the ordinary people of Angola, and the role of enablers who got rich by helping.

“The documents came from a concerned citizen – someone doing the right thing by the public.”

Pinto was extradited from Hungary to Portugal last year after being accused of stealing data, including from the Portuguese state,  which has brought  154 charges against him.

His supporters have long claimed that his whistleblowing status should have been protected rather than him be treated as hacker whose actions led to millions of confidential documents being provided to the Football Leaks website and then published by a string of media groups exposing the murky financial dealings of several leading clubs.

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