Unclear how Hickey will raise €410,000 bail, lawyers say

Olympic Council of Ireland will not facilitate the payment required for him to leave Brazil

Lawyers for Pat Hickey said it was “unclear” yesterday how he would generate the €410,000 bail bond he is required to pay before leaving Brazil, as the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) said it would not facilitate him.

A court in Rio de Janeiro ruled on Wednesday that Mr Hickey’s passport should be returned to him and that he could return to the Republic “to treat a health problem” on condition he pay a bond to the court of one and half million Brazilian Reals (€410,000).

The move came three months after his arrest in Rio for alleged ticket-touting, at which point he temporarily stepped aside from his position as president of the OCI.

The OCI said yesterday it would not pay the bail bond as it considered it a “personal matter” for Mr Hickey. This decision was taken by OCI acting president William O’Brien, despite the fact the council is currently paying Mr Hickey’s legal fees.


This is understood to be due to a stipulation in the organisation’s articles of association that oblige it to pay the legal costs of staff members that run into legal difficulties during the course of their duties.

Senior management at the OCI held a discussion yesterday as to whether a bail bond can be considered a legal expense before Mr O’Brien concluded it could not.

IOC alternative

Another avenue open to Mr Hickey in terms of securing the bond is the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In response to questions from The Irish Times, the IOC said: "These questions are not for the IOC . . . We refer you to Mr Hickey's representatives."

The European Olympic Committee, of which Mr Hickey is a former president, did not respond to questions on the subject.

Arthur Lavigne, senior counsel on Mr Hickey’s legal team, said it was “unclear” who would put forward the bond.

A public relations company acting on behalf of Mr Hickey’s family said it had no comment to make on the matter.

Justice Juliana Leal de Melo, who made the order to grant bail to Mr Hickey, reiterated yesterday that Mr Hickey would not be permitted to leave the jurisdiction until the bond was paid in full.

“The passport will only be returned if he agrees and pays the fixed bail amount,” she said. “Once he pays the bail and assumes the commitment to attend all parts of the process, the passport will be returned.”

However, she added: “We don’t know if he will agree with the amount of the bail.”

Mr Hickey’s legal team can contest the amount, although this would likely involve another lengthy process.

A spokesperson for the courts service in Rio said the ruling in relation to Mr Hickey’s passport “does not liberate him from his obligations to answer to the court process” or “allow him to leave eternally”.