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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 21 April 2021

Brazilian judge issues warrant for passport of John Delaney and five other OCI officials

The news comes after an early morning raid at the Irish office in the Olympic village.

John Delaney: The FAI chief is also an OCI official.
John Delaney: The FAI chief is also an OCI official.
Image: Martin Rickett

BRAZILIAN POLICE HAVE been given permission to seize the passport of Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney.

Delaney, who is also the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) vice-president, is one of six officials named on the warrant issued by a Rio court and seen by The42.

The warrant seeks the seizure of the six passports within five days. The magistrate said it considered the officials’ nationality and the possibility they would leave the country once the Olympics finished, something Judge Leticia D’Aiuto de Moraes Ferreira Michelli said would “seriously undermine the ongoing investigations”.

Brazilian police, yesterday, confiscated the passports of three OCI members during an early morning raid at the Irish office in the Olympic village.

Agents took the passports of Team Ireland Chef de Mission Kevin Kilty, Dermot Henihen and OCI chief executive Stephen Martin. Police also confiscated phones, laptops and unused Olympic tickets after their search of the OCI’s office.

The other names on the warrant include OCI officials Linda O’Reilly and Willie O’Brien.

According to the warrant, Kilty, Henihen and Martin are prohibited from leaving Brazil and have agreed to attend a police station on Tuesday.

Kevin Kilty Team Ireland Chef de Mission Kevin Kilty. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Former Olympic Council of Ireland chief Pat Hickey has already been detained in the inquiry and is being held in Rio’s Bangu maximum security prison awaiting a court hearing.

“During the operation, Civil Police seized the passports of the three Irishmen, preventing them from leaving the country,” police said.

According to the evidence gathered so far, Kevin, Dermot and Stephen were also involved in the illegal sale of tickets.

An Olympic Council of Ireland statement said Rio police also took unused Olympic tickets held by the Irish officials that were meant to be for “athletes’ families and friends”.

“The OCI personnel were asked to present for questioning at a local police station on Tuesday,” the statement said. The officials “agreed”, it added.

Rio police said they were “conducting investigations since the morning, which will continue until Tuesday.”

Earlier, IOC president Thomas Bach said that Hickey will appear before a Brazilian judge on Tuesday.

The IOC chief gave no other details, but the 71-year-old Hickey could be formally charged or the judge could order him released on bail.

“Mr Hickey will have his first hearing by a judge next Tuesday,” Bach said Sunday on the sidelines of an IOC executive meeting in Rio at the end of the Olympic Games.

Pat Hickey is escorted from hospital Pat Hickey is escorted from hospital in Rio. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Hickey, an IOC member, head of the Olympic Council of Ireland and the European Olympic Committees, was detained Wednesday and is accused of involvement in a ticket scam, ambush marketing and conspiracy over the sale of Rio Olympics tickets at inflated prices.

The ticket case has come as an embarrassment for the IOC. Bach again stressed the “presumption of innocence” in Hickey’s case. He has not criticised or supported the Irish official.

Hickey “temporarily” stood down from his official positions after the arrest so the IOC ethics commission has not yet launched an official investigation.

The scandal has been mounting since the arrest on 5 August of Kevin Mallon, the Irish head of the THG hospitality company.

Police said they seized hundreds of tickets from Mallon, some of which had the Olympic Council of Ireland name on them.

Tickets, including for the Rio opening ceremony, with a face value of about $1,400 dollars were offered for sale at $8,000.

Hickey denied any involvement with THG before his arrest.

With reporting from AFP and Sinéad O’Carroll in Rio

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Ryan Bailey

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