Hickey family defends injunction blocking OCI ticket inquiry
Statement claims OCI inquiry would be ‘inappropriate’ and ‘worthless’
Pat Hickey was arrested in Rio during the Olympics. He has stepped aside from his role as OCI president pending the outcome of that investigation, while also claiming there was “no substantive proof of any wrongdoing on my part”.
The family of Pat Hickey has strongly defended the legal action taken against the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) to prevent them from proceeding with a report into the mishandling of the Rio Olympic ticketing arrangements in which he is directly implicated.
The OCI report, which was being carried out independently by Grant Thornton, was postponed on Wednesday following the intervention of Hickey’s legal team.
It was commissioned by the OCI executive committee on August 26th, a week after Mr Hickey was arrested in Rio to face charges of ticket-touting.
According to a statement issued by the Hickey family, this legal action was necessary to protect his “constitutional rights, fair procedures and an entitlement to a fair trial”. The statement is also critical of the intentions of the Grant Thornton report, claiming it “could not be deemed conclusive” and is “inappropriate under all the circumstances until the Brazilian issues are resolved by the appropriate Brazilian court”.
Hickey has stepped aside from his role as OCI president pending the outcome of that court investigation, while also claiming there is “no substantive proof of any wrongdoing on my part”.
Full statement from the family of Pat Hickey
“We the Hickey family on behalf of our father and grandfather Pat Hickey have retained the services of a prominent firm of solicitors and eminent counsel, both senior and junior counsel, to advise on what has come to be known as the “Rio Ticketing Issue”. Our father relies on the advice of his solicitors and counsel.
“At all times, Pat Hickey has fully supported the Judicial Inquiry being undertaken by the eminent Jurist Judge Carroll Moran SC and he confirmed that he will fully co-operate with this inquiry.
“As early as 9th September 2016 our father’s solicitor advised the solicitors acting for the OCI (Olympic Council of Ireland) that they expected the Judicial Inquiry to be full, complete and comprehensive and that the inquiry to be conducted by Grant Thornton was in the view of our solicitors likely to be worthless.
“Notwithstanding the view expressed, Pat Hickey on the advice of his lawyers sought assurances from the OCI solicitors and lawyers in Brazil that would protect his constitutional entitlement, the principle of fair procedures and the right to a fair trial.
“Regrettably the lawyers employed by the OCI were not able to fulfil the assurances sought.
“Not only has Pat raised issues about the “Grant Thornton Inquiry”, the family understand that at least eight institutions or persons, all potential contributors to the “Grant Thornton Inquiry” have through separate legal representation advised Grant Thornton or the OCI solicitors that they do not wish to become involved in the “Grant Thornton Inquiry”, until such time as all of the issues outstanding in Brazil have been dealt with by the appropriate Brazilian Judicial Authorities.
“Furthermore, any findings from the report could not be deemed conclusive because the report does not include any input from Pat, nor that of OCI Secretary General Dermot Henihan, nor OCI staff or any representative from Pro10 or THG.
“A multitude of lawyers have advised that the “Grant Thornton Inquiry” is inappropriate under all the circumstances until the Brazilian issues are resolved by the appropriate Brazilian court.
“Regrettably on the 1st of November 2016 to protect our father Pat Hickey’s constitutional rights, fair procedures and an entitlement to a fair trial solicitors on behalf of Pat Hickey put the OCI on notice by letter that if they continued with their deliberations in the absence of evidence and statements from eight (at least) participants our father Pat Hickey had no alternative but to make an application for an injunction restraining Grant Thornton and the OCI from infringing our Dad’s constitutional rights and entitlements.
“Critical to the demand to stop the “Grant Thornton Inquiry” was an issue that Grant Thornton were not involved in conducting an independent review and the unwillingness of at least eight contributors to participate in the review at this early stage pending the outcome in Brazil.
“We the family of Pat Hickey are pleased to see the latest announcement that the Grant Thornton Inquiry has been suspended in response to the communication of the 1st of November 2016.
“Furthermore, we would like to reiterate our Dad’s full support for the Judicial Inquiry being conducted by Judge Carroll Moran SC.
“Finally, whilst fully always respecting the rule of law and justice system in Brazil, it is our solemn wish that our Dad and grandfather is allowed back to Ireland to receive urgent medical treatment for his heart condition. This, above all else, is our priority.”