It is here that the great debate is centered. Is Rui Pinto a criminal or simply a whistleblower who, instead of being behind bars, should be protected? “Without the contribution of citizens like Rui Pinto we would be unable to know the corruption and black money laundering networks that exist in society“says his lawyer, William Bourdon (in addition to Football Leaks, Rui Pinto also uncovered Luanda Leaks). Edwy Plenel, director of Mediapart (half French collaborator of Football Leaks) He even assured that Pinto is not only not a criminal, “but rather a hero“.The Signals Network, an organization that fights for the right to information, started a campaign with other associations such as Reporters Without Borders or Freedom of the Press Foundation not only for their release, but also for their protection, obtaining the signature of Europarliamentarians, journalists and lawyers.Remember that April 16, 2019 the European Parliament voted to adopt a historic agreement on whistleblower protection, with a directive to protect citizens from revealing violations of public trust and abuses of power. Even the left of the European Parliament granted him in April the ‘Prize for Journalists, Filters and Defenders of the Right to Information’.Many gestures to draw attention to the great contradiction of the situation of Rui Pinto, but that have served little so far. Meanwhile, the hashtag #FreePinto It becomes an occasional trend, waiting for the next occasion to remember the Football Leaks hacker. Few expected the sanction of two seasons outside Europe to Manchester City. A punishment that has shocked the world of football and whose consequences does not stop being written. But there are also few who remember how the accusation of the English football giant began and, above all, of Rui Pinto, the hacker who is currently in pretrial detention in Portugal awaiting trial and in the middle of a big debate about whether he should be released.Pinto has been in prison since March 2019. He is accused of 90 crimes: 68 of improper access, 14 of correspondence violation, six of illegitimate access, one of computer sabotage and another of attempted extortion to Doyen Sports (investment fund whose activity related to loans for soccer player transfers was banned in 2015 by FIFA and is investigated in Spain for alleged fraud against the Treasury). The defendant has always denied this last accusation and says he will prove in court that he did not ask for money in exchange for not disclosing information.Rui Pinto was the cornerstone of Football Leaks, the platform that, in collaboration with various European media, wanted uncover cases of corruption and money laundering in football by revealing more than 70 million documents, on which more than 1,000 press articles were written and which, in many cases, resulted in judicial proceedings. Among the best known cases in Spain, the revelations about the taxation of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mourinho or the operations between the Messi Foundation and Barcelona.