Saturday 1 October 2016

Three OCI officials remain in Brazil as wait for passports continues

Cathal McMahon in Rio de Janeiro and Amy Molloy

Published 29/08/2016 | 14:14

Dermot Henihan, OCI Secretary General, arriving at police station in Rio, Brazil on 23/08/16
Dermot Henihan, OCI Secretary General, arriving at police station in Rio, Brazil on 23/08/16
Dermot Henihan, OCI secretary general, in Rio
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Kevin Kilty, OCI chef de mission, and Stephen Martin, OCI chief executive leave a police station in Rio after they were questioned by officers. Pic Steve Humphreys

Three OCI committee members remain in Brazil today, over a week after their passports were seized by police.

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Honorary General Secretary Dermot Henihan, Chief Executive Stephen Martin and Chef de Mission Kevin Kilty were interviewed by police investigating the alleged touting of tickets at the Rio Olympics last week.

Following the meetings police assured the media that all three were witnesses and not suspects.

Officer Ronaldo Oliveira, director of special operations for the Rio Civil Police, told the media that they would most likely get their passports back but this wasn't guaranteed.

Dermot Henihan, OCI secretary general, in Rio
Dermot Henihan, OCI secretary general, in Rio

Now an OCI spokesperson has confirmed that all three remain in Rio and are still awaiting the return of their documents.

Computers, phones and tickets were also taken from the men during searches on properties connected to the OCI on August 20.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Kevin Kilty, OCI chef de mission, and Stephen Martin, OCI chief executive leave a police station in Rio
after they were questioned by officers. Pic Steve Humphreys
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Kevin Kilty, OCI chef de mission, and Stephen Martin, OCI chief executive leave a police station in Rio after they were questioned by officers. Pic Steve Humphreys

Police also had warrants to seize passports from temporary OCI président William O'Brien, vice president John Delaney and Mr Hickey's personal assistant Linda O'Reilly.

However they had already left Brazil or were never in the country.

Stephen Martin, OCI chief executive (right), and Kevin Kilty, OCI chef de mission (left), leaving Police City after giving a
deposition in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Stephen Martin, OCI chief executive (right), and Kevin Kilty, OCI chef de mission (left), leaving Police City after giving a deposition in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Former OCI president Pat Hickey (71) remains in preventive custody this morning as his lawyers fight to have him released.

Sources said they are hopeful he would be released within days.

His former cellmate Kevin Mallon (36) is scheduled to appear at a 'Fans and Special Events' court in Rio this morning after he was released from custody on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, Pat Hickey's family solicitor has said he is bring treated "worse than a murderer".

Anne-Marie James claims the detention of the 71-year-old is a “flagrant abuse of human rights”.

The solicitor acting for the family said that the actions by police in Brazil were an attempt to “utterly degrade” Mr Hickey.

Speaking on Pat Kenny’s Newstalk show, Ms James of Kirwan McKeown James Solicitors said; “I think the photographs of a 71-year-old man in a state of undress, I think the videoing of the arrest, I don't know that that's quite normal procedure. I think that was an attempt to degrade him."

She added that the photographing of his passport was a huge breach of security rights and questioned how Brazilian authorities “had the nerve” to come on Irish airwaves and justify their behaviour.

Ms James claimed that Mr Hickey has been treated “worse than a murderer” in “one of the most notorious prisons in Brazil.”

“This is a ticket touting allegation, that’s all it is, it isn’t murder or anything,” she told the Pat Kenny show.

“I don't think any murderer would have been photographed in the way that he was - I think that the dawn raid at 6am was just a publicity stunt."

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