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Saturday 16 December 2017

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

Kevin Mallon arrives at Rio police headquarters
Kevin Mallon arrives at Rio police headquarters

Matt Sandy

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

Kevin James Mallon (36) was quizzed for 40 minutes by detectives probing the three million euro scandal that saw the arrest of Olympic Council of Ireland president Patrick Hickey.

“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."

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 Hickey he has since been released from the Bangu 10 jail while criminal proceedings continue.

Kevin Mallon has been called in for questioning
Kevin Mallon has been called in for questioning

Arriving at the interview at the headquarters of Rio de Janeiro’s Civil Police with his Brazilian lawyer Franklin Gomes on Monday, Mallon told reporters: “I have nothing to say.”

He continued to refuse 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. So the fact that he did not speak does not invalidate and does not hinder the other evidence we have already collected.”

"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 Hickey (71) on Tuesday and said their investigations will conclude on Thursday.

"We already have extensive documentary evidence and analysis of the seized material was of great relevance to the investigation. On Thursday, this investigation will be complete and all the facts will be presented to the court."

Both Mallon and Hickey have had their passports confiscated and police said they were keen that they remain in Brazil for the duration of proceedings, though Barboza accepted this would ultimately be a matter for the courts to decide.

Last Monday, a judge ordered Hickey’s release from prison, citing his “critical health condition.” Mallon had been released from the same jail a few days earlier.

Both are staying at apartments in the city while the investigation continues.

“I will now stay in Rio and my lawyers will proceed to have the charges laid against me set aside as there is no substantive proof of any wrong doing on my part,” Hickey said in a statement after his release from prison.

“I would like to thank the prison authorities for their kindness they have shown to me. Due to my medical condition, I will be making no further statements.”

Hickey was arrested on August 17 at his five-star hotel near the Olympic Park. After spending a night in hospital, he was remanded to the notorious Bangu 10 jail.

Police arrested him after discovering that many of the 823 tickets seized from a Mallon had originated from Irish Olympic authorities.

The pair are accused of facilitating touting, which carries a sentence of two to four years, forming a criminal cartel, which has a sentence of between one and three, and illicit marketing, which carries a sentence of six months to one year.

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