Sunday 11 December 2016

Mallon did not commit crime, lawyers claim

Cathal McMahon in Rio de Janeiro

Published 30/08/2016 | 02:30

Kevin Mallon has been released from prison but Brazil is continuing to hold his passport. Pic Steve Humphreys
Kevin Mallon has been released from prison but Brazil is continuing to hold his passport. Pic Steve Humphreys

A lawyer for an Irishman accused of ticket touting at the Rio Olympics has claimed "no crime was committed".

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Kevin Mallon's solicitors now have ten days to prepare his technical defence before he appears in front of a judge.

Kevin Mallon's legal representative Franklin Gomez. Pic Steve Humphreys
Kevin Mallon's legal representative Franklin Gomez. Pic Steve Humphreys

At that stage the judiciary in Brazil will decide whether to accept this, partially accept it or reject it entirely.

Mr Mallon (36) appeared at the 'Sports Fans and Large Events' court in Rio de Janeiro yesterday as part of the terms of his release conditions.

Dressed in a blue shirt, grey trousers and grey runners Mr Mallon, from Drimnagh in South Dublin, told reporters as he entered the building: "I have no comment to make, thank you."

His solicitor Franklin Gomes said after: "We are very happy that Mr Mallon has been released and confident that no crime has been committed."

Asked how difficult it was to get Mr Mallon released on bail, his solicitor replied: "Wow, it took like 22 days to get him released so it was very very hard to get him out of the prison."

The THG Director spent approximately 20 minutes in the court before leaving in the same car he arrived in.

Mr Mallon was arrested on the Opening Day of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 5.

Police later found 823 tickets - many of which had been issued to the Olympic Council of Ireland - for the Games in his apartment.

He has been charged with facilitating ticket touting and criminal association.

Following his arrest he was moved to Bangu Prison in North West Rio where he remained in preventive custody for 22 days. He had been sharing a cell with Olympic Council of Ireland President Pat Hickey in the notorious jail.

Read more: Three OCI officials remain in Brazil as wait for passports continues

Mr Mallon was finally freed on Saturday night under certain conditions.

One of these was that he must attend the 'Sports Fans and Large Events' court on Praia de Olaria every 15 days. Yesterday was the first day he was ordered to 'sign-on' at the building. He arrived at 11.40am and left just 20 minutes later.

He declined to answer questions about the welfare of former cell-mate Pat Hickey as he left the court.

He repeated that he had no comment.

Mr Mallon has also been banned from accessing or attending premises connected to the Brazilian or International Olympic Committees for the period of the Paralympic Games, as well as ban on attending any of the stadiums or facilities where he would encounter the games mentioned.

He is not allowed attend the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Paralympics. He is prohibited from being absent from the district without the permission of the court.

He has also been given an 8pm curfew each night. His passport will also remain with the authorities.

He was originally ordered to wear an electronic tagging device but this was waived by a judge after it emerged that there were none available in the city.

He is staying in an apartment in Rio de Janeiro and it is understood that his family - including his wife and young child - have been unable to travel to meet him.

A statement from Mr Mallon's company THG welcomed the release: "In line with our previous statements on this matter THG has welcomed the public enquiry in Ireland into these matters and believes that the company and its executives will be vindicated when all of the evidence is reviewed.

"We will continue to work to secure Kevin's full release and his return to Dublin.

"Meanwhile, THG is providing full support to Kevin and his family and will continue to seek to ensure their privacy at this difficult time."

Irish Independent

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