Saturday 24 June 2017

Brazilian court allows former OCI President Pat Hickey return home

Pat Hickey Picture: Steve Humphries
Pat Hickey Picture: Steve Humphries
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

Former Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey has been told he can return to Ireland on health grounds.

The 71-year-old, who was arrested in his hotel in Rio de Janeiro at the Olympics, is facing charges in relation to alleged ticket touting.

However, in a written judgement today a judge ordered that he can get his passport back.

Ms Justice Juliana Leal de Melo of the Special Court for Supporter and Large Events in Rio de Janeiro, which had jurisdiction during the Olympic and Paralympic Games made the order on Wednesday and it has been published on the official courts website.

Mr Hickey has been ordered to pay a bail bond of R$1,500,000 (€410,753).

The judge said that given the fact that Mr Hickey has no link to Brazil there is a risk of him not returning for a trial.

However she balanced this by saying that the defendant needs to get "health treatment".

Along with the bail bond Mr Hickey has been ordered to be available for the process.

She wrote: "Thus, certified the payment of the bail, hereby fixed, as well as rendered the commitment of cooperation with the justice by the defendant, I authorise the release of the passport of the same, as well as that the defendant leaves the country to treat his health."

Mr Hickey and THG director Kevin Mallon are facing charges of ticket-touting, illicit marketing and money-laundering in Brazil. Both deny all allegations made against them in relation to ticketing at the event.

The judge said there was no just cause to stop proceedings against Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon from going ahead.

The judge further agreed that the case be split, as per a request from the public defenders office.  Going forward, Marcus Evans, Michael Glynn, Ken Murray, Maarten Van Os, David Gilmore, and Martin Studd will answer to one legal process in Brazil. Pat Hickey, Kevin Mallon, Barbara Carnieri and Eamonn Collins will answer to another. 

Last month his solicitor Simone Kamenetz told Independent.ie that the former OCI president was in need of emergency surgery.

She said: "I can tell you that Mr Hickey is sick. "He suffers from atrial fibrillation, and the cardiologist who saw him already twice, Dr Claudio Domenico, a well known and reputable physician, established that Mr Hickey's situation is preoccupying.

She explained: "Mr Hickey must undergo a delicate heart procedure and he should be allowed to do it with his doctors that have been following his health conditions already for years, with his family alongside with him. "This is a humanitarian issue.

Mr Hickey will not hide from the Brazilian justice, mostly because it is his desire to be totally cleared of all accusations. But if he is obliged to stay here for years, he will not be alive to see the end of this case."

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