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Olympic ticket scandal official to appear before judge Tuesday

Monday, August 22, 2016 - 06:59
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Detained European Olympic chief Patrick Hickey will appear before a Brazilian judge on Tuesday as part of an investigation into black market ticket sales, IOC president Thomas Bach said.

[RIO DE JANEIRO] Detained European Olympic chief Patrick Hickey will appear before a Brazilian judge on Tuesday as part of an investigation into black market ticket sales, IOC president Thomas Bach said.

The International Olympic Committee leader gave no other details but the 71-year-old Mr 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," Mr Bach said Sunday on the sidelines of an IOC executive meeting in Rio at the end of the Olympic Games.

Mr 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.

He is now in the Bangu maximum security prison in Rio.

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

MR 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 August 5 of Kevin Mallon, the Irish head of the THG hospitality company.

Police said they seized hundreds of tickets from Mr 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 US$1,400 dollars were offered for sale at US$8,000.

Mr Hickey denied any involvement with THG before his arrest.

AFP