Hickey to fight 'each and every' charge
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[September 12, 2016]
By Ossian Shine
LONDON (Reuters) - Former head of the
European Olympic Committee Patrick Hickey will fight "each and every
one" of charges that he took part in a ring to sell tickets
illegally for the Rio Games, the Irishman said on Monday.
Hickey, who was also the head of the Olympic Council of Ireland
(OCI), was released from Rio's Bangu 10 maximum security prison last
month, but must remain in Brazil until the case is heard.
"For clarity, I am not under house arrest as, like with so many
things with this case, has been misreported by the media," Hickey
said in a statement on Monday.
"I intend to face all the charges and to fight each and every one of
"I am completely innocent of all such charges and I will also
vigorously defend my good name and character that I have spent my
lifetime building through voluntary service for numerous sporting
Hickey was arrested on Aug. 10 at a luxury beachfront hotel during
the Games. His arrest was in connection with an investigation into
an illegal ticket-scalping ring.
Police accuse Hickey of operating the ring with Dublin-based PRO10
Sports Management to funnel tickets intended for use by the Irish
committee, and not authorized for resale, to international sports
hospitality company THG Sports.
All involved deny wrongdoing.
A Rio de Janeiro court on Friday accepted prosecutors' charges
against Hickey, Kevin Mallon, a director of THG, and nine others.
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Former top European member of the International Olympic Committee
(IOC), Patrick Hickey, leaves a police station in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
Martin Burke, the Irish council's sports director, four other THG
officials and three from Dublin-based PRO10 Sports Management,
Ireland's official Olympic Games ticket reseller, were also indicted
in the court document.
Except for Hickey and Mallon, all are outside the country and are
now considered fugitives.
Authorities told Reuters last week that they believe the ring had
operated for around eight years and was preparing for other Olympic
events such as the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.
The ring appears to have operated similar scams at the Sochi 2014
Winter Olympics and the 2012 London Games, Rio police investigators
(Editing by Gareth Jones)
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