Pat Hickey: former OCI president allowed to leave Brazil 'for health reasons'

A judge in Brazil has ruled that former Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) president Pat Hickey is to be given back his passport and permitted to leave the country for medical reasons.

Mr Hickey is among a number of people facing charges related to a probe into alleged ticket touting at Rio 2016.

He has denied all allegations made against him.

Although released almost two weeks after his arrest in August, officials retained Mr Hickey's passport.

A judge at the Special Court for Supporter and Large Events in Rio de Janeiro, which had jurisdiction during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, ruled on Wednesday that Mr Hickey can be allowed to leave Brazil "to treat a health problem".

Image copyright SNTV
Image caption Mr Hickey was dramatically arrested in his five-star Rio hotel in August

The 71-year-old must pay a bond to the court of €410,000 (£352,240).

He has temporarily stood aside as president of the OCI during the investigation.

In her deliberation, the judge said that, as Mr Hickey "has no links with Brazil", she would allow him to leave to receive medical attention.

She noted that there was a risk Mr Hickey may not return to Brazil, but that this needed to be balanced with health concerns.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Brazilian police are investigating allegations of a scheme to sell Olympic tickets for more than their face value

The judge said that Mr Hickey should be allowed to attend to his health, provided that this does not interfere with the ongoing case.

In addition to payment of the bond, Mr Hickey must agree to fully cooperate with the legal process in Brazil and be present for any calls that are made of him as the process continues.

The judge further agreed that the case be split, as per a request from the public defender's office.

This means Marcus Evans, Michael Glynn, Ken Murray, Maarten Van Os, David Gilmore, and Martin Studd will answer to one legal process in Brazil.

Mr Hickey, Kevin Mallon, Barbara Carnieri and Eamonn Collins will answer to another.

She also rejected requests made that the legal process be shelved due to a "lack of just cause" as was claimed by Mr Hickey's and Mr Mallon's legal teams.

In her judgement, Justice Leal de Melo also gave permission for Brazilian authorities to have full access to phone and other electronic devices which were apprehended during the police investigation and she gave 30 days for Brazilian police to come back with their findings.

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