Kevin Mallon refuses to answer police questions on OCI tickets

Police due to interview OCI head Pat Hickey on Tuesday over alleged involvement in affair

 

One of the men at the centre of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) ticketing scandal in Brazil refused to answer questions during a police interview this afternoon, investigators said.

Kevin Mallon exercised his right to remain silent during prearranged questioning at a police station in Rio de Janeiro, according to Ricardo Barbosa, the head of the specialised police unit leading the inquiry into the OCI’s ticketing affairs at the recent Olympics.

He said Mr Mallon did make a statement to investigators, but then exercised his constitutional right to remain silent.

“Even without him speaking, and the fact that he didn’t speak, and kept silent during questioning is important for the investigation,” said Mr Barbosa.

On arrival at the police station this afternoon in the company of his lawyer, Mr Mallon made no comment to the waiting media.

Later, he avoided journalists by leaving through a separate exit after the interview concluded. His lawyer did not immediately respond to questions about the interview.

The Dublin finance director of British sports hospitality company THG, Mr Mallon was arrested on August 5th in possession of 823 OCI tickets and police say that statements taken from witnesses indicate he was selling them at vastly inflated values, a criminal offence in Brazil.

THG had applied to be the OCI’s official ticket vendor for the Rio Games but the application was rejected by organisers. Police have issued arrest warrants for several other THG employees including the company’s reclusive owner, English millionaire Marcus Evans.

Wrongdoing denied

Police are due to interview OCI head Pat Hickey on Tuesday over his alleged involvement in the affair. Both he and Mr Mallon deny any wrongdoing.

Mr Barbosa said police expected to wrap up their investigation on Thursday and hand over a final file to the courts for a decision on whether to pursue a prosecution against both men.

This week’s questioning is the first time Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon have been interviewed since their release from custody last month.

Mr Hickey was arrested on August 17th and was held in Rio’s Bangú prison where he shared a cell with Mr Mallon. Both were released after their lawyers secured writs of habeas corpus.