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Saturday 24 August 2019

Olympic ticket touting suspect Kevin Mallon arrives back in Ireland in time for Christmas

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
Kevin Mallon outside a Rio court. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Sarah O'Sullivan

An Irishman arrested at the Rio Olympics and charged with ticket touting has returned to Ireland, his lawyer has confirmed.

Kevin Mallon was given his passport back earlier next week and told he could return home for Christmas.

Lawyer Franklin Gomes said this morning that his client is already in Ireland with his family, having left Brazil yesterday, after more than four months.

His passport was held by Brazilian officials since his release from Bangu maximum security prison in August, and he has spent the interim period living in an apartment in Leblon, Rio’s beach district.

A judgement published on November 22 allowed for the release of his passport, upon payment of a bond of R$1.5million (€440,000). 

However, his legal team managed to get this amount reduced by 50%, claiming that he 36 year old did not have resources to pay such a hefty bond amount.

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

The bond of the lower amount of R$750,000 (€220,000) was lodged to the Brazilian courts on Tuesday, the same day the Brazilian judicial system entered into its annual summer recess. Regular courts will re-open in Brazil on January 6, 2017.

Mr Gomes said a judge providing emergency cover to the courts agreed last Wednesday to release the passport, once Mr Mallon signed an agreement to continue to fully engage with and co-operate with the ongoing legal process in Brazil.

He said his client had been getting worried as Christmas approached, without his passport being returned. But, he said, “the judge showed good sense, and allowed for his passport to be given back to him.  We still have some judges with good sense here in Brazil.”

Mr Gomes said the legal team had been focusing on getting Mr Mallon back to Ireland to spend Christmas with his infant child, and family. 

Now that Mr Mallon has left Brazil, his lawyers will focus on other aspects of the case.  

Mr Gomes said there have been several unnecessary delays as the case was moved around the city, between the Special Court for Supporters and Large Events, located near Rio’s international airport, and the public prosecutor’s office in downtown Rio.

Critical of the prosecutor involved in the case ticket touting case, Mr Gomes says Marcus Kac acted “irresponsibly” in laying down charges in this case. 

In a Habeus Corpus case filed with the Court of Justice in Rio de Janeiro, to have the case against Mr Mallon shelved, due to a lack of “just cause”, it is claimed that charges laid by the prosecution in the case are “generic” and “superficial”, based on “fantasy” and “speculation”.  

Responding to these claims in Rio de Janeiro last week, Marcus Kac said: “It’s the right of the defence to say whatever they want. 

"Normally, when the defence has nothing to say, they disqualify the professional work of others. In 21 years I’ve never made up charges against anyone, I’m not going to start now.”

Kevin Mallon maintains his innocence on all cited charges, and his lawyer says he will cooperate “100%” with the ongoing legal process in Rio de Janeiro. “Kevin will return to Brazil when he is called by the courts.”

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