Thursday 20 July 2017

Who needs proof when just throwing Pat Hickey to the lions is more fun?

The former Olympic Council of Ireland chief is entitled to the same presumption of innocence as every other person accused of a crime

'Nonetheless, even if he is eventually found guilty, he’s not a murderer or a war criminal; selling tickets above cost price, of which he is suspected in Brazil, is not even illegal in Ireland' Photo: Jack Guez
'Nonetheless, even if he is eventually found guilty, he’s not a murderer or a war criminal; selling tickets above cost price, of which he is suspected in Brazil, is not even illegal in Ireland' Photo: Jack Guez

Eilis O'Hanlon

Is Pat Hickey guilty? Like most of the people watching this saga unfold from the outside, I haven't got the faintest idea.

All that's known is that the President of the Olympic Committee of Ireland has stepped down from his role after being arrested in Brazil on suspicion of selling tickets to the Rio Games at more than their face value. Officially, the charges are of facilitating ticket touting, forming a cartel, and illicit marketing; if convicted, the maximum sentence is seven years in prison.

Not exactly a minor matter for a 71-year-old, though apparently a custodial sentence is unlikely.

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