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Rio Olympics ticket scandal: Pat Hickey and Kevin Mallon charged

The Public Prosecutors office in Rio de Janeiro has formally charged Pat Hickey and Kevin Mallon for their role in the alleged ticket touting controversy during the Olympic Games.

Public Prosecutor Marcus Kac, signed the papers this morning, passing formal charges to a Special Court for Supporters and Large Events.

A judge there must now decide whether to accept or reject charges against the two Irish men, and eight others also listed in today's charges.

Should a judge decide to reject the charges, the case will be dropped, and both Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon will be free to leave Brazil.  The passports of both men are currently in the custody of Civil Police, who led the investigation into the controversy.

Police said yesterday that they would prefer for the men to remain in the jurisdiction, but that this decision rested with the Brazilian judiciary.

If the judge decides to accept charges against the ten men, their legal defence teams will be given 10 days in which to present a preliminary, or technical defence.  Following this, a court case would be scheduled.

While there is no time limit on how long the judge must take to decide on how to proceed, it is thought it should take place in a matter of days.

Speaking to RTE, prosecutor Marcus Kac said it could potentially take up to two years for a case to be heard in Rio de Janeiro.  If any of the accused remained in prison, it would go through the system quicker, he said.

He said it was very possible that the passports of Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon would be returned during this interval, on the expectation that they would return to answer to a future court case.

If either did not return to Brazil, and were convicted in their absence, then Interpol would be actioned, the prosecutor stated.

Pat Hickey is expected to give further testimony to Civil Police in Rio this evening at 3pm local time, 7pm Irish time.

In a statement this evening, Pro10 Sorts Management refuted the charges.

"PRO10 Sports Management completely refute the charges that have been put forward by the Brazilian police today in relation to PRO10’s role as Irish ATR (authorised ticket reseller) for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

As we have stated numerous times, PRO10 have at all times acted properly and fully in line with the ATR guidelines.  We will vigourously defend our reputation and we will fully challenge the very basis of these charges.

"All tickets sold by PRO10 as the Irish ATR for the Rio 2016 Olympics were sold fully in line with the ATR guidelines.  These tickets were made available for sale through the authorised ATR process and were sold to legitimate customers of PRO10 at face value plus the allowed ATR reseller fee."

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