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Monday 24 July 2017

Hickey could be home 'within the week' as bail finally arrives in Brazil

Pat Hickey can return home
Pat Hickey can return home

The bail payment for the former boss of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) has finally been paid, allowing the release of his passport, say his Brazillian lawyers.

There was some initial confusion when Pat Hickey's senior counsel, Arthur Lavigne, said the legal team had no knowledge of any payment.

However, late last night, lawyer Simone Kamenetz confirmed that the money had finally arrived in Brazil.

Mr Hickey's lawyers are now waiting for the money to pass through banking compliance systems so that it may subsequently be lodged to the courts.

Mr Hickey was arrested in Brazil at the end of August on ticket touting allegation.

The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), of which Mr Hickey was vice-president, had said it would pay the €410,000 required by Brazilian courts.

The money would allow Mr Hickey to retrieve his confiscated passport and leave Brazil after more than three months.

ANOC said it had agreed to temporarily loan the money to Mr Hickey to allow him to return home for "medical reasons".

Mr Hickey's legal team hope the Brazillian courts will allow him to leave South America "as soon as possible", but that he "needs to pay the bail".

Judge

It is likely that on receipt of a payment to the courts, the return of Mr Hickey's passport would take about a week, depending on how quickly the judge could formally order its return.

The bail conditions laid down by the courts in Rio de Janeiro state that Mr Hickey's passport may be returned to him to enable him to travel home to receive medical attention.

But they state that he must fully comply with the ongoing legal process in Brazil and return when requested by court officials.

The bail would be returned in full to Mr Hickey on completion of the legal process if he were acquitted.

The money would also be returned in full if the case were shelved before reaching court.

This has been requested by the legal team, but such a request has been denied by the Special Court for Supporters and Large Events.

If Mr Hickey were condemned, the money would be used to meet legal costs, fines, or compensation arising from the case.

When granting bail conditions for the return of Mr Hickey's passport, Judge Juliana Leal de Melo acknowledged the possibility that, once bailed, he might not return to Brazil.

However, she said this needed to be weighed up against Mr Hickey's right to receive medical treatment, and the fact that Mr Hickey does not have any ties to Brazil, where he has spent the last three months.

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