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Wednesday 21 March 2018

Ireland's Pat Hickey released from Rio prison while ticket case is investigated

Pat Hickey has been freed from custody
Pat Hickey has been freed from custody

A Brazilian judge has ordered the release of a high-ranking IOC member who was arrested during the Rio de Janeiro Games in a ticket-sale probe.

Judge Fernando Antonio de Almeida accepted on Monday a request made by Pat Hickey's lawyers to set him free from Rio's Bangu prison complex, where he has been held since August 19, while his case continues to be investigated.

Mr Almeida said there is no indication that Mr Hickey could pose a risk to the public or obstruct the investigation. He must remain in Brazil and hand over his passport.

Police said the 71-year-old plotted with businessmen to transfer tickets illegally to a vendor who was not authorised to sell them, and they want prosecutors to start a judicial process against Mr Hickey for alleged ticket scalping, conspiracy and ambush marketing.

The Olympic Council of Ireland said earlier this month that Mr Hickey decided to "step aside temporarily" as an IOC member and from all his other Olympic positions "until this matter is fully resolved".

Mr Hickey is also president of the OCI, head of the European Olympic Committees and vice president of the Association of National Olympic Committees.


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