Pat Hickey to return to Ireland from Brazil for medical treatment

The former head of the OCI has been ordered to pay €410,000

A judge in Brazil has allowed former head of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) Pat Hickey to return to Ireland for medical treatment.

This is on the condition he pays bail of €410,000.

Judge Juliana Leal de Melo, of a special Olympic court in Rio de Janeiro, ruled on Wednesday that the former OCI president’s passport could be returned to him.

He has also been ordered to continue to comply with the legal process.

While the judge noted there was a risk that Mr Hickey would not return to Brazil, she said she had to balance this with concerns for his health.

The 71-year-old is accused of being at the heart of an international touting ring in Olympic tickets issued to the OCI - a charge he strongly denies.

"I accept the request of prosecutors and set the bail at 1.5 million reais (€410,000)," the judge said in a statement last night.

"As a condition for the release of his passport and authorization to leave the country… for health treatment."

Mr Hickey was arrested at his five-star hotel in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic Games in August and, along with others, is accused of illegal ticket touting.

Last night, the judge also granted prosecutors the right to examine confidential data on phones and computers seized during the investigation for a period of 30 days.

Matt Sandy, journalist based in Rio, spoke to Newstalk Breakfast about the latest developments.

"Judgement has been handed down setting out these terms, and it will be up to [Mr Hickey] to meet them," he added.

On the subject of when Mr Hickey is likely to be able to leave Brazil, Matt explained: "It will be very hard to say. It could be [...] weeks. If it hasn't happened by the end of the year, I would not be entirely surprised."