Sunday 17 December 2017

Pat Hickey set to be released from Rio prison today

Pat Hickey. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pat Hickey. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

FORMER OCI chief Pat Hickey is due to be released from prison and placed under house arrest today.

Yesterday a judge signed an order for the 71-year-old's release from preventive custody.

However he was not freed yesterday and was forced to spend an 11th night at Gericinó penitentiary (Bangu) in north west Rio de Janeiro.

Once released it is expected that he will be brought to anapartment in Rio before being placed under house arrest.

On Monday a judge ordered Mr Hickey's release from prison citing the 71-year-old's “critical health” and stating there were no grounds for him to be imprisoned.

In court documents Judge Fernando Antonio de Almeida said there is no evidence against him aside from "generic accusations or presumptions".

The judge said his release will not present any risk to public order or to penal law being applied.

Documents lodged to the court on Monday claimed that his health state is a reason to release him and to put him under house arrest.

It was claimed that Mr Hickey is in a state of "critical health".

Judge de Almeida said that preventive imprisonment can only be applied when the maximum sentence for a crime exceeds four years. The crime Mr Hickey is alleged to have committed does not carry a maximum sentence of more than four years.

"Considering all this I revoke the preventive prison order and now he has cautionary measures replacing his detention," Justice de Almeida wrote.

The order also stated that Mr Hickey cannot leave the country and his passports remain with the relevant authority.

Mr Hickey temporarily stood down as Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) president after his arrest at the Windsor Marapendi on August 17.

He has been accused under Brazilian law of ticket touting, running a cartel and illicit marketing.

Brazilian police claimed that he facilitated the transfer of Olympics tickets to UK-based THG via the OCI's Authorised Ticket Reseller (ATR) Pro 10. THG were restricted from selling tickets to the Games.

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