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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Rio police get court order to seize Delaney's passport in ticketing probe

FAI chief executive and OCI vice president John Delaney and his partner Emma English with Pat Hickey at a rugby match in Paris. Photo: Sportsfile
FAI chief executive and OCI vice president John Delaney and his partner Emma English with Pat Hickey at a rugby match in Paris. Photo: Sportsfile

Police in Brazil have gotten a court order to seize the passport of FAI chief John Delaney as part of their ticket touting investigation.

Mr Delaney (48) is vice-president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) but did not travel to Rio throughout the Olympic Games which finished last night. He has not made any comment since the arrest of OCI president Pat Hickey last week.

The football chief executive is one of six OCI executives named in a court order to have their passports seized.

The order was granted by Judge Leticia D'Aiuto de Moraes Ferreira Michelli at the lower Court of Major Events in Rio de Janeiro.

OCI Chef de Mission Kevin Kilty (below), general secretary Dermot Henihan and chief executive Stephen Martin have been ordered not to leave the country after a dawn raid at OCI accomodation in Rio de Janeiro yesterday. Their passports were seized.

Raids

The latest set of raids follow the arrest of the OCI president Pat Hickey last Wednesday at the Windsor Marapendi Hotel in the Brazilian city. Fraud police also seized phones and laptops yesterday.

Brazilian authorities also want to seize the passports of acting OCI president Willie O'Brien and the personal assistant to Mr Hickey, Linda O'Reilly.

A meeting of OCI executive committee members took place in Dublin, but it was not clear if Mr Delaney was in attendance.

Entering the meeting at Arthur Cox solicitors, Dermot Sherlock, formerly assistant honorary general secretary of the OCI, sharply criticised the treatment of Mr Hickey by the Brazilian authorities.

The events surrounding Pat Hickey's arrest were "a total and absolute disgrace without a shadow of a doubt" he said.

The legal system was "very different" to the Irish system.

He said he did not know what was happening in Brazil last night.

Staff and officials in Brazil were busy as "Pat's situation alone was enough to occupy them".

"This meeting is a meeting to find out what the present situation is as far as the OCI is concerned," he said.

"This is the first meeting where we've had a chance to get even most of the executive present. I would like to know what has happened, in fact," he said. "I know some things were said which don't seem to hold water. I would like to hear from people who have been there."

Also at the meeting was former Irish Olympian Sonia O'Sullivan, the head of Swim Ireland Sarah Keane, and Tommy Murphy who represented boxing.

Questioning

The OCI has confirmed that the raids took place in the Olympic village and at OCI accommodation outside of the village. Fraud police also seized phones and laptops yesterday.

A spokesperson for the OCI said: "No arrests were made. The police took possession of their passports, along with their phones and laptops.

"The OCI personnel were asked to present for questioning at a local police station on Tuesday. They agreed to do so.

"The OCI had an allocation of unused official tickets in their offices which had been made available for athletes' families and friends. The police also took possession of these tickets."

Ricardo Barboza De Souza, head of the Civil Police Fraud Unit in Rio de Janeiro, confirmed that "police action" had taken place on Sunday morning.

"We are not revealing any details of this at this time. There will be a press conference on Tuesday," he said.

Sports minister Shane Ross and Minister for State Patrick O'Donovan are expected to meet with the Attorney General again today before approaching a retired judge to head up a non-statutory investigation.

Meanwhile Housing Minister Simon Coveney has said it was "surprising to say the least" to see the manner in which the Brazilian authorities had treated people including Mr Hickey.

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