Police believe two OCI officials had no role in ticket touting
Kevin Kilty and Stephen Martin interviewed by detectives in Rio
Ireland’s Olympic Council team leader Kevin Kilty, left, and chief executive Stephen Martin arrive at police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph: Leo Correa/AP Photo
Brazilian police are satisfied that the two Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) officials they interviewed on Thursday had no role in the alleged ticketing scandal at the Rio Games.
On entering, Mr Kilty told waiting media: “We are here to co-operate.”
The two men, along with a third OCI official Dermot Henihan, had their passports seized on Sunday by police in an operation that also recovered 228 unused tickets from Ireland’s allocation for the games. Police say the officials told them the tickets were intended for use by Irish athletes.
Mr Henihan was questioned on Tuesday and police say they are also satisfied that he had no involvement in the alleged touting scheme. They confirmed they would recommend to the court that issued the warrant to seize his passport that it be returned to him.
On Thursday morning Mr Henihan was still in Rio waiting for court officials to deliver his document back to him.
Meanwhile, the Irishman whose arrest sparked the affair had his case assigned to a court.
A document published on Rio’s judicial system’s website said Kevin Mallon’s case will be handled by Rio’s special court for supporters and large events which was set up in the city to handle legal matters arising from its staging of the World Cup and Olympic Games.
Mr Mallon was arrested along with a colleague on August 5th at a hospitality event ahead of the opening ceremony of the Rio Games in possession of 823 tickets from the OCI’s ticket allocation.
Since his arrest Mr Mallon has been held in a remand prison in Rio by order of a judge from the same court who will now hear his case. His lawyer Franklin Gomes has already questioned the court’s competency to oversee the case, claiming judicial overreach.
He is facing charges relating to ticket touting as well as a charge of criminal association, according to the court document.
Also charged with Mr Mallon is Marcus Evans, the British businessman who owns THG, the company he was working for at the time of his arrest.
Four other THG employees are also charged including Irishman David Gilmore and Barbara Carnieri, who was arrested with Mr Mallon but subsequently released by police. Mr Gilmore is not in Brazil and has not been arrested.
Mr Evans and several of his employees are being sought by investigators, as are the three directors of OCI’s official ticket vendor for the Rio Games, Pro10.
On Tuesday, police released emails between Mr Evans and OCI president Patrick Hickey which appear to discuss passing OCI tickets for the games to THG. The OCI had nominated THG to be its official ticket vendor for the games but that application was rejected by organisers meaning THG was unauthorised to sell tickets or hospitality packages for the event within Brazil or abroad.
Police arrested Mr Hickey on Wednesday of last week as part of the investigation. He is currently sharing a prison cell with Mr Mallon.
In a statement to The Irish Times, Rio’s penitentiary administration said Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon continue to share a cell at the José Frederico Marques remand prison, known as Bangú 10, and that “the detainees are keeping well”.
Free to leave
The two men have the right to a “sun bath” – time in an open-air yard – each day and are allowed to receive visits from relatives once they have registered with authorities.
They are fed bread and butter with milk and coffee for breakfast while lunch and dinner is made up of rice or pasta, beans, cassava flour, vegetables, salad and either meat, fish or chicken. Both meals come with a dessert.
One of 25 units making up Brazil’s biggest prison complex, Bangú 10 currently holds 396 men.