Benfica case emails.  Porto Canal officials are on trial.  “They put on a weekly soap opera,” says Carlos Alexandre – Observer

Benfica case emails. Porto Canal officials are on trial. “They put on a weekly soap opera,” says Carlos Alexandre – Observer

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Francisco J. Marques and Júlio Magalhães, then in charge of Porto Canal, as well as commentator Diogo Faria will even be tried for disseminating the content of several Benfica emails in a television program, Judge Carlos Alexandre ruled in a 242-page indictment signed. this Monday and to which the Observer has had access.

Carlos Alexandre thus endorsed the position of the attendees and the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) for the public and private accusations, prosecuting the communication director of FC Porto, Francisco J. Marques, and the former director of Porto Canal, Júlio Magalhães. for crimes of violation of correspondence or telecommunications, improper access and crime to a legal person, and Diogo Faria, commentator of the program ‘Universo Porto – da Bancada’, for a crime of violation of correspondence or telecommunications and another of improper access. All of them leaked, over the course of several TV shows, email information that would have been hacked at Benfica.

The defendants broke into this illegally obtained information, leaked it, denounced it, reorganized it and put together a weekly soap opera under the cover of a journalistic investigation, to destroy the credibility of Sport Lisboa and Benfica, ”said the prosecution.

Benfica emails. Francisco J. Marques accused of seven crimes, Júlio Magalhães answers for three

The investigation into the process, which opened in April 2020, took place in Lisbon at the request of Benfica’s own SAD. Carlos Alexandre is now sending the case to the Central Criminal Court in Lisbon, where the news of the crime was initially reported.

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Francisco J. Marques was charged by the Prosecutor’s Office, on February 24, 2020, with three crimes of violation of correspondence or telecommunications, three crimes of violation of correspondence or aggravated telecommunications, in apparent competition with three crimes of violation of privacy and a misdemeanor. He will also be liable for five aggravated offenses against the legal person and one offense against the aggravated legal person following a particular charge.

Diogo Faria will be liable for a crime of violation of correspondence or telecommunications and a crime of improper access. By private prosecution, he will be liable for a felony to the aggrieved collective person.

Júlio Magalhães, on the other hand, was aggravated in an apparent contest by the public prosecution of three crimes of violation of correspondence or telecommunications with three crimes of debauchery in private life and the private prosecution of five aggravated crimes of violation of a person legal.

The crimes allegedly took place during the several months in which they fed the television program, reporting the contents of the emails that would have reached Francisco J. Marques anonymously, first with an SMS alert and then by email. It was a 20 gigabyte collection of information that the information director ended up sending to PJ three times later. Additional information was later posted on the Benfica Market blog, which was created by Rui Pinto, the creator of Football Leaks, who is being tried for a total of 90 offenses: 68 for misappropriation, 14 for correspondence , six access, aimed at entities such as Sporting, Doyen, the law firm PLMJ, the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) and the Office of the Attorney General (PGR), as well as the computer sabotage of the SAD of Sporting and extortion, in the form of an attempt. The latter crime affects Doyen and was the one that also led to the indictment of lawyer Aníbal Pinto.

Francisco Marques justified to the court – at this stage in which an investigating judge decides whether or not to take the case to court – that the information he disclosed came to him in an “unexpected” way and that, for his biblical interest, he decided to make its dissemination in the program “Universo Porto – Da Bancada”. These are alleged crimes committed by one of the largest Portuguese football clubs and the matter was of such public interest, as stated by the information director, who himself ended up being interviewed on the subject by various national media. and international ones, such as The New York Times and The New Yorker. He states that he acted “in the exercise of the freedom of expression and information that helps him.”

“It is undeniable that public denunciation in the media of any form of corruption in football is a matter of general interest to the whole community, which extends beyond the population of football club fans.” And which entails enhanced protection of freedom of expression. In addition, the expenditure of large sums by a football club in witchcraft practices is also in the public interest, as SL Benfica SAD is a listed company, which imposes an urgent need to submit to the ‘public scrutiny,’ says the defendant’s opening instruction. request, which appears in the indictment to which the Observer has had access.

On the other hand, Francisco Marques also justifies that he selected the information, having left aside issues related to the intimate, family and sexual life of the people mentioned in it, giving as an example personal data of the referees, their wives. and their lovers.

Defendants also stated that some of the attendees, as was the case with Benfica’s SAD, did not have the legitimacy to file a complaint against them, but each headline did.

According to Judge Carlos Alexandre, the instruction made it clear that the defendants “preferred that the papers be reversed and that they be the assistants”, but summarizes the case in three points: the defendants obtained information that they believed, because he told them. , had been obtained through offenses against the attendees; the defendants broke into this illegally obtained information, leaked it, denounced it, reorganized it and put together a weekly soap opera under the cover of a journalistic investigation, to destroy the credibility of Sport Lisboa e Benfica, according to the indictment. And for the magistrate, they did so only for two reasons: club rivalry and public.

Carlos Alexandre also considered inadequate and “insufficient” the thesis presented by the defendants on the lack of legitimacy of the complainants, this because a legal person has a relevant interest in the protection of e-mail and because e-mails, although from individuals, they are inserted in a professional domain belonging to the attendees.

“We understand that the computer attack on the Benfica SAD computer system from which the information of the employees of this entity is disclosed is of interest precisely because this information is vital or relevant to Benfica SAD itself!” “It violated the privacy of attendees as well as the privacy of those involved in electronic correspondence,” the judge said.

Another argument that Carlos Alexandre did not accept was that the interest in this information was related to the fact that well-known people are involved. “The aim is to investigate the knowledge and dissemination of communications between various individuals, most of whom are unknown outside the restricted group of people who accompany the football phenomenon” “with the aim of penetrating and injuring the rights of the attendees “, accused the magistrate, who also recalled that Francico J. Marques works for the communication of FC Porto and is not a journalist.

“Communication directors, as in the case of the defendant, defend a club and expose themselves to it,” he writes. “They owe obedience to the club, values ​​contrary to those of the journalistic function,” he recalls. In this case, the defendants “pursue the competitive interests of the FCP Group, not guided by the criteria and the objectivity and independence that this entails.” they characterize the journalistic function, but on the contrary ”. And so, he concluded, the classification of the material they made was only related to Benfica.

At the Observatory, lawyers Rui Patrício, Zaragoça da Matta and João Medeiros opted for a joint response. “It is a decision that we believe is correct and that sees the reality beyond the staging attempted by the defendants of an alleged public interest and false good faith, and is an important decision for several reasons, including because it reinforces the idea that rivalry Clubs cannot go all out, even slander and slander, and also select, mix, manipulate, decontextualize and truncate documents, which, by the way, had already been obtained and then trafficked criminally ”.

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