Wednesday 7 December 2016

Mallon to get bail but Hickey still locked up

THG man's release delayed by tag row

Cathal McMahon in Rio

Published 28/08/2016 | 02:30

A view of Bangu Prison in Rio de Janeiro. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
A view of Bangu Prison in Rio de Janeiro. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

An Irishman held over alleged ticket touting at the Rio Olympics was due to be released from preventive custody despite an ankle tag dispute between the police and the company who supply them.

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The Superior Court of Justice (STJ) in Brazil had earlier granted an injunction authorising the release of Kevin Mallon, from Drimnagh as long as he wears an electronic tag.

SCANDAL: Kevin Mallon has been held since August 5. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
SCANDAL: Kevin Mallon has been held since August 5. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

He has been held in Brazil's largest prison, Bangu, since August 5, but a pay row between the police and the company who supply electronic tags delayed his release.

Mr Mallon has been accused of ticket touting at the Olympics after 823 tickets - a large proportion of which were issued to the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) - were discovered in his hotel room on the day of the opening ceremony.

In a statement the Brazilian prison service (SEAP) had told the Sunday Independent they were "struggling to pay and comply with the commitments with the suppliers and re-establish the supply of the tags."

However, shortly after 4pm yesterday, solicitor Franklin Gomez and his team confirmed to the Sunday Independent that a judge has waived a condition that stipulated he had to wear the tag.

Pat Hickey and his wife Sylviane at an Olympic function in Washington. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for ANOC)
Pat Hickey and his wife Sylviane at an Olympic function in Washington. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for ANOC)

Mr Gomez said: "He will be out tonight but it will be very, very late."

He added that his client was "disappointed by the delay", saying: "I spoke to him tonight. He is disappointed by the delay because he thought he was being released when we arrived with the paperwork earlier. It's frustrating for him but we are confident he will be freed."

Read more: Kevin Mallon's electronic tag restriction lifted after lawyers make late dash to Brazil court

A spokesperson for the Brazilian prison service confirmed that they are waiting for the order to arrive from the courts.

Pat Hickey chatting with the First Lady of Azerbaijan and Chair of the Baku 2015 European Games Organising Committee, Mehriban Aliyeva. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images for BEGOC)
Pat Hickey chatting with the First Lady of Azerbaijan and Chair of the Baku 2015 European Games Organising Committee, Mehriban Aliyeva. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images for BEGOC)

He said: "We are waiting for this document from the STJ that will release him. I don't know whether this will give him permission to go home. It depends what it says on the document."

However, OCI president Pat Hickey still remains in custody despite intensified efforts to have him released.

On August 10, the Brazilian Supreme Court denied a habeas corpus appeal by Mr Mallon. This decision was reviewed by the Minister. A number of conditions are listed on the order expected to grant Mr Mallon's release. He has been ordered to attend a natural judgement tomorrow and periodically after that.

Read more: Pat Hickey family 'gravely concerned' - have requested meetings with ministers and Taoiseach Enda Kenny

He has 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 being banned from attending any of the stadiums or facilities where he would encounter the games organisers mentioned.

He has also been banned from attending the opening and closing ceremonies of the games, and must observe an 8pm curfew each night, while his passport will remain with the authorities.

A statement from Mr Mallon's company, THG, confirmed the pending release, saying: "Following intensive efforts by our lawyers in Brazil, THG welcomes the news that our colleague, Kevin Mallon, is shortly to be released from preventative detention in Rio.

"In line with our previous statements on this matter, THG has welcomed the public inquiry in Ireland into these matters and believes that the company and its executives will be vindicated when all of the evidence is reviewed".

Sunday Independent

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