The Irish ticketing executive at the heart of the Olympic touting investigation last night refused to answer questions from police in Brazil, according to the detective leading the probe.
Kevin James Mallon, 36, was quizzed for 40 minutes by detectives probing the €3m scandal that saw the arrest of Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey.
“As he [Mr Mallon] is already indicted, he has the constitutional right to remain silent,” said detective Ricardo Barboza de Souza. “He preferred to remain silent, but either way the questions were put to him.”
Mr Mallon, an executive of hospitality firm THG Sports, was first arrested on August 5 at a hotel in Rio de Janeiro, with 823 high-end tickets in his possession.
Like Mr Hickey, he has been released from the Bangu 10 jail while criminal proceedings continue.
Arriving at the headquarters of Rio de Janeiro’s Civil Police with his lawyer Franklin Gomes yesterday, Mr Mallon told reporters: “I have nothing to say.”
He continued to refuse to answer questions once inside the interview room.
Det Barboza said: “The fact that he did not speak does not invalidate and does not hinder the other evidence we have already collected.”
“He has been charged with facilitating ticket touting, illegal marketing, and forming a criminal cartel. He had already been interviewed as he was arrested on the day of the opening ceremony.
“But since then the police have made several enquiries, searches, seizures, important material was collected. Based on the content of this material, we identified the need for him to be interviewed again.”
Police will interview Mr Hickey, 71, today and said their investigations will conclude on Thursday.
“We already have extensive documentary evidence and analysis of the seized material was of great relevance to the investigation. On Thursday, this investigation will be complete and all the facts will be presented to the court.”
Both Mr Mallon and Mr Hickey have had their passports confiscated. Police said they were keen that they remain in Brazil for the duration of proceedings, though Det Barboza accepted this would be a matter for the courts to decide.
Last Monday, a judge ordered Mr Hickey’s release from prison, citing his “critical health condition”. Mr Mallon had been released a few days earlier. Both are staying at apartments in the city while the investigation continues.
The pair are accused of facilitating touting, which carries a sentence of two to four years, forming a criminal cartel, which has a sentence of between one and three, and illicit marketing, which carries a sentence of six months to one year.
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