Saturday 16 December 2017

Ticket agent in touting probe can leave Brazil

Judge tells Olympics suspect he must raise €420,000 in bail

Kevin Mallon at a court hearing in Rio de Janeiro in August. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Kevin Mallon at a court hearing in Rio de Janeiro in August. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Matt Sandy

A judge in Brazil has allowed Irish ticketing executive Kevin Mallon to return to Ireland - as long as he pays bail of €420,000.

It is an identical offer as that granted last week to former Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) president Patrick Hickey, who will be able to return home for medical treatment if he makes the same payment.

Judge Silvia Regina Portes Criscuolo ruled that Mr Mallon could have his passport returned if he paid the bond of 1.5m Brazilian reais and committed to returning to Brazil as required.

Another judge, Juliana Leal de Melo, ruled in Mr Hickey's case last week. But it remains unclear if or when the pair will make the required payments or the date they will be able to fly home.

They are accused of being at the heart of an international touting ring in Olympic tickets issued to the OCI and sold by THG, the company that employs Mr Mallon. The touting of tickets for above face value is a criminal offence in Brazilian law. The pair both deny any wrongdoing.

Mr Mallon was arrested while hosting a reception for ticket holders in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, the day of the Olympics opening ceremony. Mr Hickey was later arrested at his five-star hotel. Since their release from the notorious Bangu prison in Rio, the pair have been keeping a low profile in the city.

Last week, Judge Melo also granted prosecutors the right to examine confidential data on phones and computers seized during the investigation for a period of 30 days.

Earlier this month the OCI confirmed it would not be paying the bail required for Mr Hickey. However, his lawyer said Mr Hickey would be depositing the money to allow him to return to Ireland.

The judge said that given the fact that Mr Hickey had no link to Brazil there was a risk of him not returning for a trial. However, she balanced that by saying the defendant needed to get "health treatment".

Along with the bail bond, Mr Hickey was ordered to be available for the process.

The judge also said there was no just cause to stop proceedings against Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon from going ahead.

Last month Mr Hickey's solicitor, Simone Kamenetz, said that the former OCI president needed emergency surgery.

"I can tell you that Mr Hickey is sick. He suffers from atrial fibrillation, and the cardiologist who saw him already twice, Dr Claudio Domenico, a well- known and reputable physician, established that Mr Hickey's situation is preoccupying," Ms Kamenetz said.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News