Saturday 10 December 2016

Hickey 'never asked OCI to put up his €400k Rio bail bond'

Published 20/11/2016 | 02:30

PAT HICKEY: In good spirits after ‘tough few months’. Photo: Larry French/Getty Images
PAT HICKEY: In good spirits after ‘tough few months’. Photo: Larry French/Getty Images

Former Olympic boss Pat Hickey is making arrangements to raise the €401,000 bond which will allow him to come back to Ireland for medical treatment - and at no time asked the Olympic Council of Ireland to fund the financial conditions associated with his successful bail application.

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Mr Hickey, who has been held in jail and under house arrest in Brazil since his high-profile arrest last July, was due to have a procedure carried out in Dublin for a heart condition in September, and is now hoping that the medical treatment can be resumed when he returns home.

The legal costs associated with his arrest and detention in Brazil and lawyers acting for him in Dublin are covered by an insurance policy which applies to the directors of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI).

However, the policy would not cover the bond needed to secure his passport and allow him to leave Rio de Janeiro.

Legal costs of staff members of the OCI, which is the subject of a non-statutory judicial inquiry conducted by Judge Carroll Moran, are not covered under this insurance policy. It is believed that between eight and 10 solicitors firms are now acting for various interests, including the OCI, Mr Hickey and staff at the organisation's headquarters in Howth, north Dublin.

Friends who have met Mr Hickey in recent days said he was in good spirits but it had been "a tough few months" and he was anxious to get back to Ireland for the impending birth of two grandchildren and to continue medical treatment that started last March.

KIERAN MULVEY: Spoke out about Mr Hickey’s treatment. Photo: Tony Gavin
KIERAN MULVEY: Spoke out about Mr Hickey’s treatment. Photo: Tony Gavin

They were not able to give details of how Mr Hickey would arrange the personal bond of €401,000 pending his trial on charges of ticket touting during the Rio Games.

While he has held a number of high-profile positions in the international Olympic movement, Mr Hickey worked for 21 of the 27 years he has been OCI president in a voluntary capacity and lives modestly in Castleknock, Dublin.

"Things move slowly in Brazil, so nobody knows when the trial will take place, but Pat is determined to respect the judicial system and is confident he will be exonerated of the charges," said a friend who met him in recent weeks.

"This is a man of some ability and the country's leading sports administrator," charity founder Jonathan Irwin said last week. "I really feel he shouldn't have been abandoned in the manner he was."

Apart from concerns earlier expressed by Kieran Mulvey of Sport Ireland about Mr Hickey's treatment, Mr Irwin was the first high-profile figure to speak out against the treatment of the detained former OCI president.

Friends, who do not wish to be named, have also contrasted the Government's stance on Mr Hickey with other Irish nationals who have been arrested abroad and benefited from diplomatic efforts to see that they were treated fairly and in accordance with procedures that the Irish Government believes acceptable and humanitarian.

"Nobody wants them to interfere in the Brazilian judicial system - but it is only fair that a 71-year-old man suffering from health problems should be allowed to come home until a date is set for his trial, which could be in late 2017," said one friend.

"He has no family or friends in Rio and the Irish Government should not treat him any different to other citizens."

Sunday Independent

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