Rui Pinto's defense requested the removal of Judge Paulo Registo from the trial of the case, accusing him of violating the right of reservation and of having already formulated a condemnatory pre-judgment of the creator of Football Leaks.
The refusal incident, signed by lawyers Francisco and Luísa Teixeira da Mota, to which the Lusa agency had access today, arises following the delivery by the judge (to whom the process was distributed by computer) of a request for “excuse to intervene in the proceedings and trial, because there is a suspicion about his impartiality “, after news, photographs and publications appeared on the magistrate's social networks reporting on his affective connection to Benfica.
Rui Pinto's defense argues that the suspicion of the impartiality of Judge Paulo Registo “is not based either on suspicions in the distribution of cases, nor on his mere club affiliation, nor on the club of which the defendants are supposedly adept, not even the circumstance that the so-called e-mole process was distributed to the collective of integra “.
In the opinion of the lawyers there are other reasons, namely, “the fact that the judge is a 'fanatic or a' fervent 'supporter of Benfica, and the accused Rui Pinto is credited, in these records, the authorship of the blog' Mercado do Benfica ' , which gave rise to the lawsuit (s) against Benfica and its officials who run through the Portuguese courts “.
Another of the reasons invoked concerns the alleged violation of the magistrate's duty to reserve.
“Mr. Judge, in a clear violation of the duty of reserve to which he is bound, has already taken a public condemnatory position on the case – supporting publications on social networks that call Rui Pinto a 'pirate' – and the former MEP Ana Gomes – who has been one of the most important voices to support the defendant's cause – as 'Ana Heroína Gomes', in an obviously playful tone “, the document says.
The application also says that the fact that the judge “erased the publications in question and decided to hide his page on the social network Facebook, after having known his sports fanaticism illustrated on social networks, as well as any comments made by him on other pages” , thus seeking “to hide from the public opinion what was disclosed in the media and (in) social networks, and everything else that could be known”, reveals “an unacceptable willingness to hide what was previously proud”.
For the defense, it's not about the judge being from Benfica, and the defendants, Rui Pinto and lawyer Aníbal Pinto, being from FC Porto.
“It is about Mr. Judge, publicly, having already made his judgment, his pre-judgment, in relation to at least one of the defendants and of being a fervent supporter of Sport Lisboa e Benfica – and not a mere sympathizer as mentioned in the request for excuse -, the club mentioned in the blog whose authorship is attributed to Rui Pinto, which, with great probability, removes his ability to, in a case like those in the case file, be equidistant and impartial in relation to the object of the process and procedural subjects, as the judge should be “, stress the lawyers.
The application maintains that there are “serious and serious reasons that make the judge's intervention suspicious in the eyes of the community”.
“It is not intended to affirm, in any way, that Mr. Judge voluntarily, intentionally or even consciously removes impartiality in the judgment of the defendants, but that, in addition to the legitimate suspicions of the community about its impossibility, Mr. Judge himself with his performance after the disclosure of his performance on social networks, by deleting and making his 'posts' disappear and his own Facebook page reveals a behavioral irrationality and a desire to 'stay' with the process that is not acceptable and that it is not in the least distant from the way it presented its request for excuse “, stresses Rui Pinto 's defense.
The lawyers also state that the judge's suspicious performance “is reinforced in a particularly serious way” when, in his excuse incident before the Lisbon Court of Appeal (TRL), “he omits such factuality, and may thus mislead the court higher”.
It is now up to the TRL to decide whether to accept requests for excuse and refusal.
In January of this year, the Lisbon Criminal Instruction Court decided to bring to trial the lawyer Aníbal Pinto (only for the crime of attempted extortion of Doyen), and Rui Pinto, who is under house arrest, for 90 crimes of illegitimate access, access misuse, violation of correspondence, computer sabotage and extortion attempt, but dropped 57 of the 147 crimes for which the accused had been accused by the prosecutor.