Lawyer says Pat Hickey may already be ‘on his way home’
Former OCI president has been in Rio since August after being arrested during Olympics
Pat Hickey’s legal team in Rio de Janeiro has said the former Olympic Council of Ireland president may already be on his way home to Ireland after being given back his passport. Photograph: INPHO/Billy Stickland.
Mr Hickey has been in Brazil for more than four months after being arrested in Rio on charges of ticket-touting on August 17th during the Olympic Games.
He stepped aside from his position as president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) once those charges were made, while claiming his innocence and intention on clearing his name.
A judicial decision published on Monday in Rio allowed Mr Hickey’s passport to be returned to him. This followed the payment of a bond of 1.5 million Brazilian Reals (€418,000), by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), who said the money was offered as a “loan” which must be repaid.
Speaking in Rio de Janeiro on Wedneday, Mr Hickey’s lawyer Arthur Lavigne said his client was now in possession of his passport, and as far as he knew, “he has already left Brazil, and is on his way home.”
Mr Lavigne said he would confirm later if Mr Hickey is in transit.
Meanwhile, the Sao Paulo based lawyer for Kevin Mallon, the THG Sports executive also arrested during the Olmypics on similar charges to Mr Hickey, could have his passport returned by the end of this week, according to his legal team.
The bond amount due for the release of Mr Mallon’s passport was reduced by half last Monday in Rio, following a request from his legal team.
The original amount required for Mr Mallon’s bond was 1.5m illion Brazilian Reals. However, lawyer Franklin Gomes argued to the court that this amount was well outside of Mr Mallon’s means, and that as a “mere employee” of THG Sports, he should not be required to pay the same bond as demanded for the former OCI president.
The figure was halved and Mr Gomes said Mr Mallon would pay the R$750,000 required, using “all of the resources he can”.
Both men were required to sign an agreement, stating that they would return to Brazil to attend to the ongoing legal process, as required.