Friday 30 September 2016

Exclusive: Pat Hickey was 'evasive' when police tried to interview him - lead investigator claims

Mr Hickey will be behind bars until Tuesday as no judges are sitting during Olympics

Cathal McMahon in Rio de Janeiro

Published 19/08/2016 | 21:59

Pat Hickey was claimed to have been “evasive” when police tried to interview him about his alleged involvement in ticket touting fraud at the Rio Olympics.

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The senior police officer investigating the case has told Independent.ie that they spoke with the 71-year-old for two hours at a police station in central Rio de Janeiro on Thusday night but Mr Hickey refused to answer a number of questions and also made no confessions.

Ricardo Barboza De Souza Head of the Civil Police Fraud Unit at Police City in Rio De Janeiro being interviewed by Cathal McMahon. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Ricardo Barboza De Souza Head of the Civil Police Fraud Unit at Police City in Rio De Janeiro being interviewed by Cathal McMahon. Picture: Steve Humphreys

Ricardo Barboza de Souza, head of the Civil Police Fraud Unit, explained: “We spoke to Mr Hickey for two hours. He was very evasive in his answers. He wasn't really saying anything much. He didn't say anything that led to anything. He was basically seeking his lawyer's help.

“Questioning didn't bring out anything conclusive. He made no confession.”

It is understood that Mr Hickey's lawyer was present throughout police interviews  Instituto de Criminalista Carlos Eboli in central Rio.

Mr Hickey, who temporarily stood down as President of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) after his arrest on Wednesday, was taken on Friday to Brazil's largest prison Bangu.

Pat Hickey steps into the back of a police car after leaving Insituto de Criminalista Carlos Eboli Endereco Police Station in Rio de Janeiro. Pic Steve Humphreys
Pat Hickey steps into the back of a police car after leaving Insituto de Criminalista Carlos Eboli Endereco Police Station in Rio de Janeiro. Pic Steve Humphreys
Pat Hickey hides from photographers in the back of a police car after leaving Insituto de Criminalista Carlos Eboli Endereco Police Station in Rio de Janeiro

José Frederico Marques Public jail, known locally as Bangu 10, is a committal prison.

It is the general entry point for all inmates entering Gericinó Penitentiary Complex (Bangu).

A prison worker explained that Mr Hickey will be processed at the facility for some time.

As Thursday was a national holiday and the Olympics are still underway in Rio there may be some delay in moving him into another unit within the Bangu complex.

Fellow Irishman Kevin Mallon (36), who is being held as part of the same investigation, is currently housed at the Bangu 8 prison.

Commissioner Barboza confirmed that Mr Hickey will remain in Bangu over the weekend and the earliest he can expect a judicial hearing would be Tuesday.

Pat Hickey is escorted by Police in a wheelchair to a waiting car at the Hospital Samaritano in Rio de Janeiro where Pat Hickey is being treated. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Pat Hickey is escorted by Police in a wheelchair to a waiting car at the Hospital Samaritano in Rio de Janeiro where Pat Hickey is being treated. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Pat Hickey is escorted by Police in a wheelchair at the Hospital Samaritano in Rio de Janeiro where Pat Hickey is being treated. Picture: Steve Humphreys

Due to the ongoing Olympics the judiciary is not currently sitting and is not due to return before Tuesday.

Mr Hickey had sought habeus corpus bail appeal on the grounds that his detention was unlawful. However this was rejected by a Brazilian state court on Thursday.

The Police Station in Rio de Janeiro where Pat Hickey is being held tonight after being released from hospital.
Pic Steve Humphreys
18th August 2016
The Police Station in Rio de Janeiro where Pat Hickey is being held tonight after being released from hospital. Pic Steve Humphreys 18th August 2016

Commissioner Barboza's team arrested Mr Hickey at a room in the Hotel Windsor Marapendi, na Barra da Tijuca at 6am on Wednesday.

The 71-year-old explained that he had a heart condition and as a result was brought to the private Hospital Samaritano instead of a police station.

He remained here for over a day but was finally moved shortly before 3.30pm on Thursday to Instituto de Criminalista Carlos Eboli, in the centre of the Brazilian city.

Commissioner Barboza explained that Mr Hickey had pleaded with police to remain in the hospital citing an ongoing medical condition.

The Commissioner said: “He wanted to stay in hospital a bit longer but they released him and said he was fine.”

A spokesperson for the OCI said yesterday evening that it would be making no further statement on Pat Hickey.

“The Board has no further comment on the charges against Mr Hickey who is receiving his own legal advice and is entitled to natural justice and due process.”

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