A Brazilian court has dropped three of the charges levelled against former president of the Olympic Council of Ireland Pat Hickey and two others in Brazil more than five years ago.
Three of the charges against Mr Hickey, along with Kevin Mallon, director of sports hospitality company THG, and Brazilian woman Barbara Carnieri, were dropped due to “extinction of punishability", The Irish Times reports.
In 2016, Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon were accused of a range of offences in Brazil, including ticket touting for the Rio Olympics which took place that year.
A charge relating to the use of Rio 2016 logos, products or services for economic advantage without the correct permissions was formally dropped, as was a tax evasion charge. The previously unreported decision was made on October 18th last.
A charge levelled against the three under Article 41-F of a Brazilian sporting law, which concerns ticket touting, has also been dropped. This charge was dropped because too much time has elapsed.
A further charge under Article 41-G of that same criminal code has been maintained.
This charge concerns the organisation of ticket touting, rather than the physical act of selling. It carries a penalty of two to four years in prison.
This jail term can also be increased by one third if the guilty party was a public servant or worked for a sporting entity.
A charge of criminal association, which is defined as to “promote, constitute, finance or integrate, personally or through an intermediary, a criminal organisation”, also remains active. This carries a penalty of three to eight years of prison time.
Charges of larceny, which carries a penalty of three to 10 years’ imprisonment plus a fine, have also been maintained.
In the October ruling, a Rio de Janeiro court set a date of November 23rd, 2021, for “instruction and judgment” on the case. This hearing was postponed after a request from Mr Mallon's defence team.
Lawyers have requested additional time for “carrying out other measures”, according to a court spokesperson.
A new hearing date is yet to be set, but it is likely to be more than eight months away.
Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon left Brazil in December 2016, having paid a bond of BRL$1.5 million (worth €410,000 at the time) and BRL$750,000, respectively.
It is unclear if either Mr Hickey or Mr Mallon will have to appear before a Rio court once a new date has been confirmed.
The judge will make this decision. Defence lawyers for the two Irish men have maintained their innocence since their arrests.
They have argued that there is a “lack of just cause” for prosecuting the two men.