NewsCrime Desk

Pat Hickey brought to Brazil’s largest prison complex

Pat Hickey, in wheelchair, is escorted by police to a waiting car at the Hospital Samaritano in Rio de Janeiro. Photo Steve Humphreys
Pat Hickey, in wheelchair, is escorted by police to a waiting car at the Hospital Samaritano in Rio de Janeiro. Photo Steve Humphreys

The 71-year-old, who temporarily stood down as president of the Olympics Council of Ireland (OCI) after his arrest on Wednesday, is now being detained at the Bangu 10 facility in West Rio de Janeiro.

Fellow Irishman Kevin Mallon (36) is currently being detained at the adjoining Bangu 8 in the same complex.

Mr Hickey was wheeled from a hospital in Rio de Janeiro last night and taken by car to a police station to be quizzed about the accusations.

After four hours, he hid in the back of a car as he was taken to be medically examined once more before being finally brought to a detention facility pending further investigations.

Mr Hickey stood aside temporarily as Olympics Council of Ireland (OCI) president after his arrest in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

The alleged ticket scam came to light after fellow Irishman Kevin James Mallon (36) was arrested on the day of the opening ceremony.

Mr Hickey is potentially facing three charges of facilitating ticket touting, formation of a cartel and ambush or illicit marketing. Brazilian detectives say the offences carry a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

Last night, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that it had stopped Mr Hickey's daily expenses of €800 a day, paid to him every day he was in Rio. But IOC officials condemned Rio police for allowing a TV crew to accompany them as a naked Hickey was arrested in a hotel, describing it as "theatre".

IOC member Dick Pound said: "It makes it look like all sports administrators are corrupt. They're not."

Before the latest developments, William O'Brien, first vice-president of the OCI, told media: "We will defend ourselves to the hilt. That's all I can tell you."

Mr Hickey spent almost four hours inside the Instituto de Criminalista Carlos Eboli Endereço last night giving his deposition to the Brazilian Civil Police.

He was joined in the station by OCI general secretary Dermot Heneghan and team doctor David Feekan.

It is understood that he was advised by a Brazilian legal team throughout the process.

Mr Hickey was then moved back to a medical facility where he was assessed again by doctors.

This afternoon, the Olympic Council of Ireland has insisted it will cooperate fully with any State inquiry into the alleged touting of tickets in Rio.

In a statement released today, the OCI said: "The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) confirms that it will cooperate fully with any State inquiry into its handling of ticketing arrangements for the Rio Olympics. 

"The OCI will now also commission its own independent inquiry into the ticketing arrangements for Rio 2016.  The previously announced internal inquiry by the OCI has been discontinued."

Pat Hickey had strongly dismissed the notion that the OCI would cooperate with a Government inquiry when he met with Minister for Sport, Shane Ross, last week but Hickey's subsequent arrest has changed the direction of the OCI's stance.

The news comes as the two companies at the centre of the Olympic ticket allegations  - THG and Pro10 Sports Management - have fully backed calls for an independent inquiry.