Pat Hickey vows to fight every charge laid against him as he faces trial

Former OCI president 'heartened and humbled' by outpouring of support from Irish people

Pat Hickey vows to fight every charge laid against him as he faces trial

OCI president Pat Hickey | File photo: PA Images

Pat Hickey has claimed he is innocent of all charges laid against him by a Brazilian court, and vowed to fight each and every one of them.

In a ruling published on Friday, a judge in Rio formally accepted charges put forward by a public prosecutor against the 71-year-old.

The former OCI president, THG Sports director Kevin Mallon and eight others are accused of charges including ticket touting, money laundering, false marketing and tax evasion.

Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon, who will now stand trial, were released from prison on bail last month. They both deny any wrongdoing.

They remain forbidden from leaving the country and are under a 10pm curfew.

The two men have also been ordered to present themselves to the headquarters of the Juvenile Court on the 20th day of every month. 

Mr Hickey released a statement this evening stating that he had just received formal notification of the charges laid against him.

"For clarity, I am not under house arrest as, like with so many things with this case, has been misreported by the media," he said. 

"I intend to face all the charges and to fight each and every one of them.

"I am completely innocent of all such charges and I will also vigorously defend my good name and character that I have spent my lifetime building through voluntary service for numerous sporting bodies.

"I believe in the Brazilian judicial system and I am confident that I will be discharged of all accusations.

"This has been a life changing experience for me, my wife, my four children and my five grandchildren and my priority is to recover my health and see my family as soon as possible.

"I have been very heartened and humbled by the outpouring of support, letters, texts and emails from the thousands of people in Ireland and from the international sporting world.

"I will be making no further comment until the case has been concluded."