OCI officials have their passports returned to them

Lawyer for Dermot Henihan, Kevin Kilty and Stephen Martin confirms passport return

 

The three Olympic Council of Ireland of Ireland (OCI) officials whose passports were seized month have had them returned, the lawyer for two of the men has confirmed.

Dermot Henihan, Kevin Kilty and Stephen Martin had their travel documents seized by police during the investigation into the organisation’s ticketing arrangements at the Rio Olympics.

Their documents were handed back to them on Monday, Mário Fabrizio Coutinho Polinelli, the lawyer acting for Mr Kilty and Mr Martin said.

Mr Polinelli did not say when the three men will return to Ireland.

The three officials checked out of the hotel where they were staying in Rio de Janeiro last Thursday and The Irish Times has not been able to locate them since they left.

Their documents were taken from them on August 21st during a police operation that also saw 228 OCI tickets for the Olympic Games and a number of documents seized.

The men were originally declared suspects in the investigation but following questioning, police said they would recommend the court return their travel documents after the men told them that OCI head Patrick Hickey was responsible for the organisation’s ticketing arrangements

Mr Hickey has denied any wrongdoing.

Mr Hickey was arrested on August 17th and a judge ordered him and nine others to face trial over a number of crimes related to an alleged ticket touting scheme that saw OCI tickets passed to British company THG, which was unauthorised to sell tickets or ticketed hospitality at the Rio Games.

When accepting the charges against Mr Hickey last Friday, Judge Juliana Leal de Melo ruled that the three OCI officials should have their passports returned to them.

Judge de Melo also withdrew a warrant seeking the seizure of the passports of FAI chief John Delaney, acting OCI president William O’Brien, and Linda O’Reilly – Mr Hickey’s personal assistant. They are not facing any charges.

Mr Polinelli attributed the delay in returning the men’s passports to “the complexity of the case” and the time it took police to examine the materials recovered on electronic devices.

He said his clients would not need to return to Brazil to provide evidence in the trial of Mr Hickey and his nine co-accused.