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Dublin: 21 °C Wednesday 12 August, 2020

Pat Hickey's family slam his arrest as they look for meetings with ministers

The family say they hope to meet with Enda Kenny.

Image: Yui Mok

OCI PRESIDENT PAT Hickey’s family has released a statement saying that the manner of his detention in Rio has been “worrying”.

Hickey has stepped down from his role as Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) boss while the investigation continues. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Hickey, an IOC member, former head of the OCI and the European Olympic Committees, was detained last week and is accused of involvement in a ticket scam, ambush marketing and conspiracy over the sale of Rio Olympics tickets at inflated prices.

He is currently in Bangu prison in Rio de Janeiro, sharing a cell with Kevin Mallon of sports hospitality group THG.

The statement, issued through the family’s solicitor says that they family are concerned about a number of things.

These include:

  • The manner in which Pat Hickey was arrested
  • His detention in a high security prison without charge
  • The effects of such detention on Pat Hickey’s health
  • The pre-trial disclosure of “what is purported to be evidence to the media without any right of a reply (which is leading and imbalanced reporting)”
  • Pat Hickey’s right to a fair hearing, given the “prejudicial way” in which he has been treated to date

The statement says the family has requested a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan and Sports Minister Shane Ross, as well as the Brazilian ambassador to Ireland, Alfonso José Cardoso.

The Hickey family is gravely concerned about the effect this degrading and humiliating ordeal has had on their father and grandfather and how it continues to affect his physical and mental health. He has a serious heart condition and they are extremely anxious that he would be immediately released on bail and given the opportunity to respond to the accusations.

“They also, as a priority, want to get him home to Ireland as they have increasing concerns about his safety.”

The family goes on to call on Flanagan to set out the steps he is taking to assist.

“It was entirely inappropriate and unacceptable for a 71-year-old Irish citizen be taken from his bedroom, arrested and walked in a state of undress before a pre-arranged camera crew, after which film and still shots were released to the global media.”

Yesterday it was confirmed that Hickey’s wife Sylvania had left Brazil as his lawyers made their second bail application.

The family say they hope to meet with Enda Kenny.

In response, Minister Flanagan said he would meet with the Hickeys.

Minister Flanagan stated:

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides consular care to Irish citizens who have been arrested or detained overseas.  We are currently assisting two Irish citizens detained in Rio de Janeiro.

“In general it is Department policy not to comment in detail publicly on individual consular cases, of which there have been almost 1500 already this year.

“My officials are in ongoing contact with the family of this citizen and with legal representative acting on his behalf.”

Comments are closed for legal reasons.

Read: OCI has appointed a security firm to secure, copy and seal all its data for the Government’s inquiry

Read: OCI member calls Pat Hickey’s arrest in front of TV cameras a “total and absolute disgrace”

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