Bank receives €410,000 bond to allow Pat Hickey leave Brazil
Hickey’s passport likely to be returned five-to-seven days after money is lodged with court
Former Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey was “much more animated now that he knows he can go home”, his lawyer said. Photograph: Alan Betson
The legal team of former Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey has confirmed that the bond money required for the release of his passport has been received in Brazil.
Lawyer Simone Kamenetz confirmed on Friday that the amount of 1.5 million Brazilian Reals (€410,000) arrived into the country in the past couple of days.
Now, the legal team are waiting for the money to pass through banking compliance systems, so that it may subsequently lodged to the courts.
Mr Hickey was arrested in his hotel room in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic Games last August on charges of ticket-touting - charges he denies. He was released after being held in prison for several days, but the authorities retained his passport.
It was reported on Thursday that the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), of which Mr Hickey was vice President, would pay the sum, as required by the Brazilian courts in order for Mr Hickey to get his passport back, allowing him to leave Brazil.
ANOC said it had “agreed to temporarily loan the bail payment for Patrick Hickey to return home for medical reasons”.
On Friday morning, senior counsel for Mr Hickey, Arthur Lavigne, said he knew nothing of the payment, or its origin, and that the bond had not been paid.
However, hours later, Ms Kamenetz confirmed that the money had indeed reached Brazil, and would be lodged to the courts, once it was cleared by Brazilian banks.
“The money cannot be lodged directly to the courts, from overseas. The courts do not handle foreign currency. The lodgement is passing through the bank’s compliance, and will be liberated in the coming days. Then it will be paid to the courts,” she said.
Ms Kamenetz said Mr Hickey was “much more animated now that he knows he can go home”.
She said Mr Hickey had already made an appointment for a medical procedure in Ireland on his return but she was not aware when this was scheduled, adding that her client was happy that he could return home to see family and his own doctor.
It is likely that on receipt of a payment to the courts, the actual return of Mr Hickey’s passport could take around five-to-seven days, depending on how quickly the relevant judge can formally order its return.
The bail conditions laid down by the courts in Rio de Janeiro state that the passport may be returned so that Mr Hickey travels home to receive medical attention, but that he must be willing to fully comply with the ongoing legal process in Brazil, and return as requested by court officials.
Once paid, the bond amount would be returned on completion of the legal process, if the accused were acquitted or the charges withdrawn.
If convicted, the bond amount would be used to meet legal costs, fines, or compensation arising from the case.