Wednesday 28 September 2016

'Silent' Pat Hickey leaves police HQ after less than an hour as prosecutors lay charges before judge over Rio Games alleged ticket touting

Published 06/09/2016 | 18:02

Pat Hickey leaving the police station today
Pat Hickey leaving the police station today
Pat Hickey leaving the police station today
Pat Hickey leaving the police station today
Former OCI president Patrick Hickey arrives at Civil Police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro for questioning by detectives on 6 September, 2016
Kevin Mallon (left) arrives for questioning in Rio yesterday with his solicitor Franklin Gomes

The Public Prosecutors office in Rio de Janeiro have formally laid charges connected to Kevin Mallon for his role in the alleged ticket touting controversy during the Olympic Games.

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Public Prosecutor Marcus Kac, signed the papers this morning, passing formal charges to a Special Court for Supporters and Large Events.

Former OCI president Patrick Hickey arrives at Civil Police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro for questioning by detectives on 6 September, 2016
Former OCI president Patrick Hickey arrives at Civil Police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro for questioning by detectives on 6 September, 2016

A judge there must now decide whether to accept or reject charges against the Irish man, and others also listed in today's charges.

Pat Hickey, who has temporarily stepped aside as OCI president, arrived to give further testimony to Civil Police in Rio this evening at 15.24pm local time, (7.24pm Irish time).

Former OCI president Patrick Hickey arrives at Civil Police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro for questioning by detectives on 6 September, 2016
Former OCI president Patrick Hickey arrives at Civil Police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro for questioning by detectives on 6 September, 2016

Mr Hickey left Police HQ less than an hour later (at 16:14h local time).

He did not speak to the press.

Pat Hickey in Rio de Janeiro Photo: Steve Humphreys
Pat Hickey in Rio de Janeiro Photo: Steve Humphreys

Detective Aloysio Falcao, one of the lead investigators in the case, said that Mr Hickey had exercised his constitutional right to remain in silence.  He said the fact that Mr Hickey did not respond to questioning today, di not affect the police inquiry, as “we have lots of evidence.”

“He maintained his silence.  We put 14 questions to him, but he did not respond.  We asked him questions about his involvement, and that of new actors, which we will divulge on Thursday.  He did not want to respond to these questions.”

Our investigation finished last week. 

“We are now entering into a new stage in the inquiry.”

Detective Falcao said that new players in the ticketing controversy would be informed to a press conference on Thursday in Rio de Janeiro.  He stated that there are more people involved, apart from the 10 from THG, Pro10, and Pat Hickey, who all had charges formalized today by the public prosecutor in Rio de Janeiro.

New names, including at least one Irish person, will be divulged to press on Thursday, including new crimes that were not contemplated in this original phase of the investigation, based on “material that was apprehended – notebooks, laptops, and cell phones.”

Should a judge decide to reject the charges, the case will be dropped, and Mr Mallon will be free to leave Brazil. His passport is currently in the custody of Civil Police, who led the investigation into the controversy. 

Police said yesterday that they would prefer for Mallon to remain in the jurisdiction, but that this decision rested with the Brazilian judiciary.

If the judge decides to accept charges against the ten men, their legal defence teams will be given 10 days in which to present a preliminary, or technical defence.  Following this, a court case would be scheduled.

While there is no time limit on how long the judge must take to decide on how to proceed, it is thought it should take place in a matter of days.

Speaking to RTE, prosecutor Marcus Kac said it could potentially take up to two years for a case to be heard in Rio de Janeiro.  If any of the accused remained in prison, it would go through the system quicker, he said.

He said it was very possible that the passport of Mr Mallon would be returned during this interval, on the expectation that they would return to answer to a future court case.

If he did not return to Brazil, and were convicted in their absence, then Interpol would be actioned, the prosecutor stated.

He arrived in a blacked out car and didn't speak to waiting reporters.

The family of Pat Hickey have disputed claims that he has been charged with alleged ticket touting at the Rio Olympics.

In a statement, released tonight, Mr Hickey's children said their father would not be commenting when interviewed by Brazilian police in Rio Kevin Mallon 'refuses' to answer any questions in an interview with Rio police 'He certainly put me back in my box': Shane Ross reveals his meeting with 'brick wall' Pat Hickey From prison to fine dining - Pat Hickey's whirlwind fortnight 'I will fight this 100pc': Pat Hickey speaks out for first time about arrest .

"Our Dad, Pat Hickey, will not be making any comment in the police station today (Tuesday) at his pre-arranged questioning.

"He will be invoking his constitutional right to silence because the Brazilian police have released documents to the media that Pat’s lawyers have had no access to."

The statement added a note saying "contrary to mis-reporting in Ireland, Pat has not been charged with any offence. Only the Brazilian prosecutor can press charges and he has not done so."

In a statement this evening, Pro10 Sorts Management refuted the charges.

"PRO10 Sports Management completely refute the charges that have been put forward by the Brazilian police today in relation to PRO10’s role as Irish ATR (authorised ticket reseller) for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

A"s we have stated numerous times, PRO10 have at all times acted properly and fully in line with the ATR guidelines.  We will vigourously defend our reputation and we will fully challenge the very basis of these charges.

"All tickets sold by PRO10 as the Irish ATR for the Rio 2016 Olympics were sold fully in line with the ATR guidelines.  These tickets were made available for sale through the authorised ATR process and were sold to legitimate customers of PRO10 at face value plus the allowed ATR reseller fee."

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