Newstalk
Newstalk

11.07 29 Aug 2016


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A solicitor for the family of Pat Hickey claims Brazilian police have tried to "utterly degrade" him.

Mr Hickey temporarily stepped down as president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) following his arrest in Brazil.

He was arrested by police investigating the illegal re-sale of Rio 2016 tickets - something Mr Hickey denies.

His arrest hit world headlines, and part of the arrest at his hotel was also videoed.

Mr Hickey's family say they are concerned about the manner of his arrest, his right to a fair hearing and his detention without charge.

They have also cite worries about the effects of the arrest on his health and the pre-trial disclosure of purported evidence to the media "without any right of a reply". 

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said in response that arrangements for a meeting with family would be made "in the coming days".

Mr Hickey is being held at Bangu Prison, but it is thought he could be released on conditional bail shortly.

However, Anne-Marie James, a solicitor with Kirwan McKeown James Solicitors, said entire affair has been badly handled.

"Whilst the police are saying exactly what they like over the airwaves without charging him - no charge - he's effectively gagged from speaking and is languishing in this prison as a 71-year-old man with a serious medical condition," she told the Pat Kenny Show here on Newstalk.

"There is a presumption of innocence in the constitution in Brazil, I believe that the police there have flagrantly completely ignored that.

"I think the photographs of a 71-year-old man in a state of undress, I think the videoing of the arrest, I don't know that that's quite normal procedure.

"I think that that was in an attempt to utterly degrade him."

She says the photographing of his passport and documents was also a breach of his rights.

"The passport is actually owned by the State, so they have breached our protocol.

"He's exposed to mosquitos, he's exposed to malaria and the Zika virus - he's asked for mosquito repellent.

"I don't think any murderer would have been photographed in the way that he was - I think that the dawn raid at 6am was just a publicity stunt.

"Even though it might be business as usual, it doesn't make it OK."


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