Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has again warned the family of Pat Hickey he “will not be intervening” in his legal battle in Brazil because “due process” has to take place.
Mr Flanagan reiterated his stance ahead of meeting with the relatives of Mr Hickey, who has temporarily stepped aside as president of the Olympic Council of Ireland, provoking an angry reaction from the Dubliner’s family.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Mr Flanagan said while the family has asked to meet him over the ticket-touting allegations, he is limited in what he can or should do.
He said while he remains “anxious” to explain what the Government has been doing in relation to the case in recent days, he has been satisfied by the Brazilian authorities that Mr Hickey is not being mistreated or discriminated against by officials.
Pressed on the family’s request, made through Anne Marie James of Kirwan McKeown James solicitors, for an immediate meeting to explain what actions the Government is taking on the issue, Mr Flanagan said he is still willing to sit down with Mr Hickey’s family.
However, he dispelled any belief the family might have that such a step could help garner support for Mr Hickey’s return to Ireland. He said the Government cannot intervene in another country’s legal system.
“I have been asked to meet the family [of Mr Hickey], I have agreed to such a meeting and I am anxious to explain what Government is doing in terms of consular assistance,” he said.
“This meeting will take place, I expect between now and the end of the week. But I want to make one thing clear — I will not be intervening in the judicial process in Brazil. There has to be due process involved here.”
Since Mr Hickey’s arrest in Brazil two weeks ago, he, his family, and legal team have repeatedly said he has done nothing wrong.
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