Thursday 24 May 2018

Director of THG refuses to answer police questions

Kevin Mallon (left) arrives for questioning in Rio with his solicitor Franklin Gomes
Kevin Mallon (left) arrives for questioning in Rio with his solicitor Franklin Gomes

Matt Sandy

The Irish ticketing executive at the heart of the Olympic touting investigation last night refused to answer questions in an interview with police in Brazil, the detective leading the probe said.

Kevin James Mallon (36) was quizzed for 40 minutes by detectives probing the €3m scandal that saw the arrest of Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) president Patrick Hickey.

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

"As he is already indicted he has the constitutional right to remain silent," detective Ricardo Barboza de Souza said. "He preferred to remain silent, but either way the questions were put to him."

Mr Mallon, an executive of hospitality firm THG Sports, was first arrested on August 5 at a hotel in Rio de Janeiro, with 823 high-end tickets in his possession. Like Mr Hickey, he has since been released from the Bangu 10 jail while criminal proceedings continue.

Read more: Kevin Mallon 'refuses' to answer any questions in an interview with Rio police

Arriving at the interview at the headquarters of Rio's Civil Police with his lawyer Franklin Gomes yesterday afternoon, Mr Mallon told reporters: "I have nothing to say." He refused to answer questions once inside the interview room, police said.

Barboza, the detective leading the investigation, added: "It does not bother the police because we have other forms of proof - witness testimony, documents, analysis of seized material."

"He has been charged with facilitating ticket touting, illegal marketing and forming a criminal cartel. He had already been interviewed as he was arrested on the day of the opening ceremony.

"But since then the police have made several enquiries, searches, seizures, important material was collected. Based on the content of this material, we identified the need for him to be interviewed again."

Police will interview Mr Hickey (71) today and said their investigations will conclude on Thursday.

Both Mr Mallon and Mr Hickey have had their passports confiscated and police said they were keen that they remain in Brazil for the duration of proceedings.

Speaking about the testimony of the three OCI officials, Kevin Kilty, Stephen Martin and Dermot Henihan, who spoke to police last week, Mr Barboza said: "The analysis of the material and their testimony does not indicate any type of participation. On the contrary, it reinforces that the decisions of the [OCI] committee were practised by the president of the committee, who had all the powers of decision."

Irish Independent

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