Sunday 18 August 2019

Rio touting accused Mallon set to return home after paying €215,000 court bail

Kevin Mallon outside a Rio court. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Kevin Mallon outside a Rio court. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Sarah O'Sullivan

The lawyer for Kevin Mallon, the Dublin man arrested on the eve of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, says the bond amount of R$750,000 (€215,000) has been paid into the Brazilian Courts.

Mr Mallon's lawyer said he hoped that his client would be given authorisation by the Brazilian judiciary to travel home to Ireland in the coming days.

In a judicial decision published on November 22, permission was granted for the return of Mr Mallon's passport, enabling him to leave Brazil, upon the payment of a bond of R$1.5m (€430,000) Brazilian reals, as per conditions laid down for the release of former OCI president Pat Hickey's passport.

Mr Hickey left Brazil last Wednesday night, after more than four months in the South American country.

Mr Mallon's bond amount was reduced by half following assertions by Franklin Gomes, his Sao Paulo-based lawyer, that the amount was outside the means of the THG Sports executive, and that his bond amount should not be the same as that of Mr Hickey, given that one was former president of a National Olympic Committee, and the other a "mere employee".

Public Prosecutor Marcus Kac suggested that the bond amount be reduced to R$1.2m (€344,000), a 20pc drop from the original bond amount.

But, in a decision published with the Rio courts last Monday, Justice Marcello Rubioli allowed the bond amount to reduce by 50pc.

Mr Franklin said that the bond amount of R$750,000 was lodged yesterday in Rio.

He said the money arrived some days ago in Brazil, but that payment to the courts was delayed due to "bureaucratic delays in the banking system", as the foreign currency was converted to Brazilian reals.

However, the courts entered into their annual recess yesterday, implicating Kevin Mallon's capacity to sign an agreement to comply with all movements of the ongoing legal process.

His lawyers had requested that this document could be signed the day before, but as the money had not yet been received by the courts, this was not allowed at the Special Court for Supporters and Large Events.

Mr Franklin would not confirm exactly who had paid the bond amount for the release of Mr Mallon's passport, but said that "Kevin used all resources available to him and his family", adding that the money had come from "Europe".

Mr Gomes said that he hoped that the local judiciary, providing emergency cover during the holidays, showed "reasonability to release Kevin's passport".

"Kevin has complied with everything that has been asked of him, at all times," he said, and hoped for "compassion and fraternity" at this time.

Mr Gomes continued to assert that his client was innocent of all charges levied against him.

Mr Mallon has been charged with ambush marketing, ticket touting, tax evasion, criminal association, and larceny.

His case in Brazil could begin as soon as next month, and could take at least a year to conclude.

Meanwhile, Mr Hickey arrived back in Dublin on Sunday.

The 71-year-old wished photographers and reporters a "Happy Christmas" at his home in Castleknock.

12 NEWS CC PAT HIC (2) (2).jpg
The race is on to replace Pat Hickey as Olympic Council of Ireland president. Photo: Colin Keegan

"I want to wish you all a Happy Christmas and it's good to be home," Mr Hickey said to reporters and photographers outside his home.

Mr Hickey was arrested at his hotel in Rio during the 2016 Olympics on allegations including ticket touting and money laundering.

He has denied the allegations.

Irish Independent

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