Saturday 17 March 2018

Hickey to face trial after Rio judge accepts police charges

Ex-OCI president Pat Hickey. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Ex-OCI president Pat Hickey. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Sarah O'Connor and Matt Sandy

Former Irish Olympic Council President Pat Hickey will face trial in Rio de Janeiro after a judge officially accepted criminal charges against him.

Judge Juliana Leal de Melo, of the special Olympic court in Rio de Janeiro, reached a decision late last night after receiving the case file earlier in the week.

The Brazilian judge accepted charges of money laundering, ticket touting and illicit marketing against Mr Hickey and THG director Kevin Mallon.

The judge ruled that Mr Hickey (71) and Mr Mallon (36) should be given a curfew of 10pm every night and they have been ordered to report to the court on the 20th day of every month. The judge also ordered that the passports of Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon be retained, and both be impeded from leaving Brazil for the foreseeable future. If they breach bail, they will be returned to jail.

It is expected that it could be around one-and-a-half years before a court case in Rio de Janeiro takes place.

Sources have indicated that their passports could be returned in this interim, but any such decision rests with the Brazilian judiciary.

Also charged alongside Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon are directors or employees of THG Sports and Pro 10 Sports Management. They include Irishmen David Patrick Gilmore, Michael Glynn, Ken Murray and Eamonn Collins, Brits Marcus Paul Bruce Evans and Martin Studd, and Dutchman Maarten Van Os. Also charged is Mallon's interpreter Barbara Zancope Carnieri.

"I note that 10 people have been charged and only two of them have been subject to precautionary measures," the judge said. "I wish to unify these precautionary measures.

"Therefore, the precautionary measures that have already been applied to the defendant Kevin James Mallon will now apply to all defendants."

THG hospitality executive Mr Mallon was arrested on August 5 at a hotel in Rio, with 823 high-end tickets in his possession, said to have been allocated to the OCI, following a sting operation by police.

Brazilian police said the tickets were for the opening and closing ceremonies and top athletics events, including the men's 100-metre final.

Mr Hickey was arrested in his hotel on August 17. He is accused of intending to supply tickets for ticket touting, diverting tickets from legitimate use and false marketing.

A representative for Mr Hickey's family was unavailable for comment last night.

Irish Independent

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