Pat Hickey may face up to 44 years in jail if convicted in Brazil

Legal advice given to OCI’s ex-head outlines possible sanctions over alleged touting

Former Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey. Photograph: Alan Betson

Former Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Former Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) president Pat Hickey could face a maximum 44 years in prison if found guilty of all charges in Brazil, according to legal advice he received.

The advice given by Arthur Lavigne Associates in Brazil outlines the potential jail sentences Mr Hickey (72) could face on seven separate charges in connection to alleged ticket touting.

The allegations of criminal conduct he is facing relate to touting, touting facilitation, criminal organisation, larceny, ambush marketing, money laundering and and tax evasion.

If found guilty on all seven charges, the maximum prison time would be 44 years as the prosecution has requested the penalties should be combined.

The legal advice, seen by The Irish Times, did not offer a view on whether Mr Hickey should co-operate with the investigation carried out by Mr Justice Carroll Moran.

However, it said the findings of an inquiry into the ticket touting controversy in Ireland could be used to prosecute him in Brazil.

Interviews

The legal advice also stated any out-of-court documents including media interviews could be used in the prosecution’s case in Brazil.

In correspondence with Mr Hickey’s solicitor, Giles Kennedy, his representation in Brazil said it was unable to offer any clear timeline on when his case would go to trial.

However, it said it was “unlikely that this will result in any final decision on the merits of the indictment in this year of 2017”.

Mr Hickey was also informed by his legal representatives he could be tried and sentenced in his absence. The former OCI president has come home to Ireland while he awaits trial.

The Government has declined to comment on whether it would extradite him if asked to by the Brazilian authorities.

Mr Hickey has been under significant pressure to appear before an Oireachtas committee to answer questions on the ticket-touting controversy.

The former OCI president was strongly criticised in a Government inquiry for the way in which he ran the organisation and his relationship with British ticketing agent THG.

It subsequently emerged he had signed a contract allowing THG to act as an authorised ticket reseller for the OCI until 2026.

The deal, which has been described by OCI president Sarah Keane as “watertight”, did not receive the approval of the executive board of the organisation.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has said he would not restore funding to the OCI until the agreement is terminated. Funding was withheld after ticket touting allegations were raised at last summer’s games in Brazil.

It is understood Mr Ross has requested the deal be published by the OCI and placed on its website.

Legal advice to the OCI has advised Ms Keane not to make any public comment on the value of the deal.

However, she has said there was a significant financial element to the arrangement, believed to be in the region of €1 million.

Fianna Fáil TD on sport Robert Troy has asked Mr Hickey to reconsider appearing before the committee.

He said there were a number of questions he could answer without straying into the case in Brazil.