Rui Pinto, the Portuguese whistleblower linked to the Football Leaks revelations, was released on conditional bail by a Hungarian court on Friday after his arrest following an extradition demand issued by the Portuguese authorities. Pinto, 30, who is to fight the extradition demand, is accused of attempted extortion and data theft. Mediapart can confirm that he is cooperating with French prosecution services and has agreed to help Swiss prosecutors in separate investigations into suspected tax evasion and corruption revealed by the Football Leaks documents.
Mediapart recently revealed how earlier this year Marine Le Pen's far-right Front National party obtained a loan of 9 million euros from a Russian bank. The man who helped broker the deal was French far-right MEP Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, who has confirmed that he received 140,000 euros for his consultancy work. Questions have now been raised in the European Parliament about whether Schaffhauser has officially declared either the income or his extra-curricular activities, with the parliament’s president Martin Schultz promising to investigate the issue. More broadly, reports Ludovic Lamant, there is growing unease in Brussels and Strasbourg about what are feared to be concerted efforts by Russia to buy influence in a number of European political parties.
Hungary took over the rolling six-month presidency of the European Union on January 1st. On the same day, its government introduced a new law severely restricting the freedom of the Hungarian media. This scandalous law of censorship is an outrageous attack on fundamental human rights and contravenes the very founding principles of the European Treaty, says Mediapart Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel. If the EU takes no action against Hungary, it will have betrayed its very reasons for being and, in the process, give a green light to the politics of authoritarianism now sweeping the continent.
by Edwy Plenel
Directeur de la publication : Edwy Plenel
Direction éditoriale : Stéphane Alliès et Carine Fouteau
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