Pat Hickey OCI court case suspended

The Brazilian court case in which former Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) president Pat Hickey was expected to testify at the end of this month has been suspended.

The Supreme Court in Brasília confirmed last night that an injunction to suspend the case, already granted to THG executive Kevin Mallon, extends to all others listed in the case, namely Mr Hickey, and Barbara Carnieri, who was arrested alongside Mr Mallon in a hotel in Rio on the eve of last year’s Olympic Games. Both Irishmen here arrested in Rio during the 2016 Games as part of an investigation into alleged illegal resale of Olympic tickets

Both Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon were due to appear at a local court in Rio de Janeiro on November 29, when a judge was to hear witnesses for the prosecution and defence.

It was expected that the final judgement would not be heard until February 2018, after the judge had analysed all evidence.

A spokesperson for the Supreme Court confirmed last night that “the decision to suspend the case with respect to Kevin Mallon extends to all of the accused in this process”.

The case will remain suspended until the judge analyses an appeal based on a habeas corpus claim.

Just two weeks previously, the same Supreme Court judge denied a separate habeas corpus claim, also brought by Mr Mallon’s legal team.

In his October 13 decision, Supreme Court judge Ribeiro Dantas said: “I do not verify the occurrence of flagrant illegality in the contested decision [to accept charges against Mr Mallon], that would justify the processing of the present order.”

Mr Dantas is the same Supreme Court judge who ordered the release of Mr Mallon from Bangu prison on August 28, 2016, reversing his denial of a habeas corpus claim made by Mr Mallon’s solicitor, Mr Gomes, on August 15. Two days later, Mr Hickey was released from jail.

Both Irishmen paid financial bonds to the courts, in exchange for the return of their passports. In the case of Mr Hickey, a bond of around €410,000 at the time was paid, while half that amount was paid separately in the case of Mr Mallon.

Mr Gomes has been tireless in his attempts to have the criminal case thrown out of court in Brazil.

While Mr Hickey’s legal team had suggested that their client would participate in the November 29 hearing by video conference, a formal request to use such facilities is not thought to have been lodged.

Both Irishmen protest their innocence.

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