Pat Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland who was arrested in connection to an illegal ticket scalping during the Rio de Janeiro Olympics was permitted to return to Ireland on health grounds by a special court of Brazil for supporters and large events. However, the Olympic council of Ireland has categorically ruled out making any contribution towards the bail bond that its president has to pay in order to be allowed to leave Brazil.
Mr. Hickey was accused of leading an operation with PRO10 to funnel tickets for the Rio Olympics through the THG Sports to raise at least $3 million after the increase in the prices of tickets. Hickey is 71 years old and his bail was set by Justice Juliana Leal de Melo at $1.5 million (€410,000). Mr. Hickey has denied all the allegations against him.
In a brief statement the OCI expressed its gratitude to the judge in Brazil who allowed Mr. Hickey to return to Ireland. OCI also requested the media to respect Mr. Hickey’s privacy as well as that of his family. The Irish Examiner has submitted a number of questions to OCI on whether it had contributed to the bond, legal, fees, travel expenses and accommodation.
A spokesman of OCI confirmed that they paid for the accommodation expenses of Mr. Hickey while he was in Brazil but any information relating to the actual costs was not available. On who pays for the legal costs of Mr. Hickey has to be sorted out because the opinions of other parties like the International Olympic Committee, the European Olympic Committee and insurance companies have to be considered.
Sports Minister Shane Ross did not comment of OICs decision not to foot the bail bond. He hopes that Mr. Hickey will cooperate with the government inquiry when he returns to Ireland.
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