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Monday 20 January 2020

Family of Pat Hickey have 'huge concerns about his mental state'

Pat Hickey. Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pat Hickey. Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Brian O'Reilly

THE family of former Olympic Council of Ireland boss Pat Hickey have 'huge concerns' about his mental state in a Brazilian prison, a solicitor acting for the family has said.

Anne Marie James was speaking to Marian Finucane on RTE Tadio One this morning.

She said the family have huge concerns about his ability to get fair trial, given the handling of the case so far.

"He can't say anything, he's gagged, he's in a prison cell. There is a presumption of innocence in the constitution of Brazil, I believe the police have been disregarding their own constitution," she said.

"The drip feeding of information in a situation where he's gagged and can't respond doesn't lead to a fair trial, in my mind", she later added.

She said the family have not had any contact with Mr Hickey since his arrest, and are concerned for his well-being. 

"The family haven't been in contact with Pat. They have huge concerns about his mental state and the fact he's missing all of them and they haven't been in any contact.

The family have been relying on the media for information on the 71-year-old.

"Most of the reports we're getting are via RTE. But we know have heard Mr Hickey has asked for mosquito repellent, which would imply he's exposed to mosquitoes which carry malaria and zika virus.

She also said that Mr Hickey did not have his head shaved on entering the prison, despite media reports to the contrary.

The family are now calling on the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, to put pressure on the Brazilian authorities to act in the case.

She said the government should voice its objections to the manner in which Mr Hickey's arrest was filmed and shown around the globe.

"My concern is that his line might be that he's not going to interfere in a judicial process... but that doesn't mean he cannot make our objections."Family of Pat Hickey have 'huge concerns about his mental state'

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