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Olympic ticket scandal: Rio police 'find emails between Pat Hickey and THG'

Patrick Hickey Image copyright JACK GUEZ/AFP
Image caption Patrick Hickey is being held at Bangu 10 Prison in Rio awaiting a court appearance

Emails have been found linking IOC (International Olympic Committee) member Pat Hickey and the head of a company alleged to have illegally resold Olympic tickets, police in Rio have said.

Police said they have uncovered emails discussing tickets between Mr Hickey and Marcus Evans, head of THG Sports, dating back to 2010.

Mr Hickey, from Ireland, was arrested last week but has not yet been charged.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

Image copyright RTE
Image caption Police said that OCI member Dermot Henihan was free to leave Rio

Police in Rio said that Mr Hickey, the former president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), and Mr Evans exchanged emails discussing tickets as recently as 3 August.

They said that the OCI facilitated the transfer of tickets to THG.

Police also told a news conference in Rio that they were investigating bank documents for evidence of money laundering linked to the illegal sale of tickets.

Mr Hickey has stepped down from his roles at the IOC and the OCI temporarily.

He is being held in the same cell at Bangu 10 Prison as THG Group director Kevin Mallon, who was arrested on 5 August.

Last week, a Rio judge ordered the arrest of four more THG executives, including Mr Evans, who is also the owner of football club Ipswich Town.

THG Sports is a corporate and sports hospitality group based in London. It has previously said that allegations against it are "entirely without foundation".

Image copyright SNTV
Image caption Mr Hickey denies the charges against him but has stepped down from all his posts temporarily

It is thought that Mr Hickey will appear in court later this week.

On Tuesday, Mr Hickey's lawyer denied that he tried to escape arrest.

Police in Rio have also said that Dermot Henihan, a member of the OCI whose passport was seized, is no longer of interest to the investigation after meeting police on Tuesday.

He has been told he is free to leave Rio.

Two other OCI officials who also had their passports seized, Kevin Kilty and Stephen Martin, who is from Northern Ireland, are to meet with police on Thursday.

The OCI has appointed a crisis management committee to lead its response to Brazil.

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