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Judge recommends house arrest for Pat Hickey due to his health

He has been in jail since his arrest on 17 August.

Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated 9.55pm

A JUDGE IN Rio de Janeiro has recommended that former Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) chief Pat Hickey be freed from prison and placed on house arrest.

Pat Hickey was granted a preliminary injunction in Rio de Janeiro today, which has ordered that Hickey be released from Gericinó prison, commonly known as Bangu prison.

Hickey has been in the José Frederico Marques Public Jail remand unit (Bangu 10) since his release from Samaritanos hospital, where he spent the first night after being arrested at his hotel in Barra de Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, on 17 August.

Hickey shared a prison cell in Bangu 10 with Kevin Mallon, the Dublin man who was charged with ticket touting during the recent Olympic games.

Mallon was granted a similar preliminary injunction from the Supreme Court in Brasília last Saturday. He was released hours later, after lawyers managed to remove a condition requiring electronic tagging from his release conditions.

Electronic tags were not available in the state of Rio, so lawyer Franklin Gomes argued successfully for this condition to be removed.

Mallon signed on at a court at Cocotó, near Rio de Janeiro’s international airport, this morning. He is obliged to sign on every 15 days, as his case proceeds – which could take months, if a judge decides that his case should go to court.

Mallon had no comment to make to journalists as he left the courthouse this morning.

“Critical health”

In his decision, dated 29 August 2016, Judge Fernando Antonio de Almeida, from Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice, cited  Hickey’s “critical health” as one of the reasons for ordering his release from prison.

He stated that the imprisonment of Hickey to date was based on “generic presumptions” and that his potential liberation from jail would not “put at risk the public order, or the application of penal law”.

The judge recommended that Hickey’s preventative imprisonment be converted into “domicile imprisonment.”

Justice de Almeida cited documents that had been lodged to the courts, relating to Hickey’s state of health. He stated that precautionary imprisonment can only be used when the maximum time servable for an offence exceeds four years, which is not the case here.

He stated that imprisonment should be seen as a “last resort”.

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The exact conditions of Hickey’s release are not known, nor were they published in the judge’s decision, In his decision, Justice de Almeida ordered that Hickey give his passports to officials within 24 hours of his release.

He suggested that the imprisonment of Hickey had not been “proportional”.

However, it has been reported in recent weeks that Hickey has two passports, and that both are already in the possession of the courts.

Prison wardens say it might be 7/8pm tonight, local time, before Hickey gets out.

He has been held in Bangu prison in Rio since his arrest at the Olympics on 17 August.

Hickey was arrested on suspicion of ticket touting, establishing a cartel and illicit marketing.

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

Comments have been closed for legal reasons. Additional reporting Aoife Barry

Read: Pat Hickey’s family ‘terrified about being chased down the street’>

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