A fuming Joe Duffy (centre) challenges unruffled Rio Police commissioner [a commissioner is the second-in-command of a civil police division in Brazil] Aloysio Falcão (top) about the filming of the arrest of “distressed 71-year-old” Pat Hickey among other gripes on RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline.
Grab a tay.
Joe Duffy: “Commissioner Aloysio Falcão of the Rio de Janeiro police and one of the lead investigators in this case, good afternoon.”
Aloysio Falcão: “Good afternoon, how are you?”
Duffy: “Good, thank you and I hope you are aware also, are you aware Commissioner, that in Ireland this has been the biggest story in the last 10 days?”
Falcão: “Yeah Yeah we knew.”
Duffy: “Why did you decide to film the arrest of Pat Hickey.
Falcão: “Because we knew that Pat Hickey was the guy who [unintelligible]
Duffy: “Okay Commissioner, that’s all fine but in Ireland that’s not a crime, it’s not a crime and it’s not a crime for Pat Hickey to be in communication with Marcus Evans, it’s not a crime why did you decide to film to video to bring along a cameraman to film Pat Hickey in the middle of the night, a 71 year old man obviously in distress why did you decide to film and release that video?”
Falcão: “In Brazil, ticket touting is a crime, you know. It’s a serious crime, I had to respect…”
Duffy: “Of course it’s a crime in Brazil, It’s not a crime in Ireland, but some people believe it should be a crime in Ireland. But why did you film the arrest of Pat Hickey?”
Falcão: “I did the arrest because I had to respect the law.”
Duffy: “Is every arrest in Brazil filmed?”
Falcão: “No, but…”
Duffy: “So why did you film this man being arrested?”
Falcão: “I had to do what the judge said on the warrant. When I arrested him I sent him to the hospital to check everything out, he spent in the hospital one day…”
Duffy: “I understand and very good, very good, very good, that’s important. Why did you decide and who filmed this man in distress in his bedroom?”
Falcão: “Because he was in the hotel, in his bedroom, you know we had judge warrant, we had to do it. And he wasn’t in his room, his wife was in his room, his wife, he was in a different room from his wife. His wife told the police he went back to Ireland you know.”
Duffy: “Hmm well as I said last week when all of this was happening, there might have been a misunderstanding. It is a different language. Are you saying the Judge ordered the arrest of Pat Hickey being filmed.”
Falcão: “Yeah, yeah he did.”
Duffy: “So are you saying the judge said I want to see video and film evidence I want to see the film, the movie of this man being arrested.”
Falcão: “Not the judge’s order, it’s like the media. We didn’t authorise the media, you know.”
Duffy: “And Commissioner, where does the investigation stand now. Is there any possibility that Pat Hickey who, as you know is a 71 year old man, you know and you had to call the doctor, that Hickey could be released on bail and out of that prison.”
Falcão: “Yeah, we have a kind of domiciliary prison where the guy is older than 80 or is in bad health, his lawyers are trying to get this kind of prison for him to be in.”
Duffy: “So can I ask you, Commissioner, on behalf of the Rio de Janeiro police, would you object if the judge said you can release this man from prison and put him under as you say domiciliary containment, would you object Commissioner?”
Duffy: “So you would be in favour of Pat Hickey being released from prison once he does not leave Rio, is that correct?”
Falcão: “Sure. The Brazilian system is not unfair [unintelligible]. I’m going to talk to the judge today.”
Duffy: “So you’re going to talk to the judge today to say you have no objection to Pat Hickey being released. Have you any objection to him leaving Brazil?”
Falcão: “Yeah. He has to stay in Brazil because he has more questions about more people who are being arrested… he can be in domiciliary jail but it’s the judge’s decision, I can’t decide that, you know.”
Duffy: “But can you – is it within your power to say to the judge we will allow Pat Hickey to hold in a hotel in Rio so long as we have his passport and he cannot leave Brazil, is that your opinion?”
Falcão: “I have the power to talk to the judge but not to release him from jail.”
Duffy: “Yes but once he stays in Brazil.”
Falcão: “Yeah but we don’t have this power you know, it’s the judge’s decision.
Duffy: “But approximately Commissioner when do you hope to hand the file to the judge and say we’ve done all our investigations now you decide when is that a week a month, how long ?”
Falcão: “I can’t tell you, maybe between 1 and 3 months, between 1 and 3 months, I hope so you know.”
Duffy: “So if Mr Hickey – which he vehemently asserts, as does Mr Mallon, that they were innocent, you’re saying well we will not have a decision on that from the Brazilian system for up to 3 months?”
Falcão: “If they are innocent for sure we have a decision, the Brazilian court, it’s Brazilian law I don’t know how it works in Ireland but we have to make sure that people don’t run away from the country otherwise it’s going to be impossible to inquire them.”
Duffy: “Have you asked Interpol to help?”
Falcão: “Yeah, for sure. I am in contact with the Interpol the Interpol is going to help the Brazilian police.”
Duffy: “And what country are Interpol going to ask to assist?”
Falcão: “Interpol is based in France.
Duffy: “Yes, I know that, it’s based in Lyon but are you saying to Interpol, can you get information from Ireland?”
Falcão: “I can’t tell you about the information but what I can tell you is that I made contact with Interpol they are helping the Brazilian police.”
Duffy: “Have you had any representations from the Irish government?”
Falcão: “No. That’s why I also want to get some help from the media because we need some help from the government. I know Shane Ross had a meeting but he has left. I also want to know about the government position, what they are doing you know. Our police can be helped by your government. We can trade information about this scandal.”
Duffy: “But have you contacted the Irish government via our embassy?”
Falcão: “Not yet.”
Duffy: “But you’re saying you want to speak to Shane Ross and also the Irish Government. Do you want to speak to the Irish police?”
Falcão: “Yes. It would be great for the enquiry because more information is much better, it’s more fair for the process, we don’t want to be unfair, I have to know what happened with the government in Ireland and also the government, they will want to know what happened in Brazil.”
Duffy: “Well, Commissioner, a number of politicians in Ireland, some in opposition, some in Government, Minister Simon Coveney, Shane Ross made a reference to it as well, as the leader of the Labour Party said this is not the way we do things in Ireland, I’m quoting a onetime leader of the Labour Party, can you understand that the arrest of this man, the filming of the arrest the immediate removal, okay you took him to a hospital, and his incarceration in prison, to some people in Ireland to a lot of people I think in fairness they don’t think that is very fair.”
Falcão: “I know. What I can tell you is that the police treated him very well. We left him in the hospital for one day, he then went to the prison when the doctor examined him met him and said well now he’s okay… I talked to him and his lawyer always, always you know.”
Duffy: “You know this cocktail party, this sting operation where you sent undercover policeman to this cocktail party does that mean you have been on, when did this case open, did it open when the Olympics started or had it started a few years ago, how long have you been on this case?”
Falcão: “We had a lot of investigation at 2014 at the World Cup football, we arrested a director of THG and we know that THG was trying to get credentials for the Games, that’s why we started the investigation. Two years ago.”
Duffy: “You were watching THG before the Olympics. Before they arrived, were you aware of the arrival of the Irish Olympic Committee, were you suspicious of a connection then.
Falcão: “The Olympic Irish Council was suspected when we found maybe 800 tickets and all those tickets were designated for the Irish Olympic contingent.”
Duffy: “So is it fair to say that before then, Pat Hickey and indeed Kevin Mallon and indeed other people whom you now want their passports, you were not suspicious of them you were not suspicious of them, you only became suspicious of them when you found those tickets at this cocktail party for instance. Before they arrived in Rio you were not suspicious of them. You only became interested in them when you found the tickets at this cocktail party. All the tickets you found were only from the Irish Olympic Council?
Falcão: “ Only Irish.”
Duffy: “Whey did you put Pat Hickey’s boarding card and his accreditation, why did you put them on your table for those photographs you were at?”
Falcão: “I didn’t put them on my table.”
Duffy: “Ah now no hang on hang on the media didn’t have his passport why did you put his passport on the table
Falcão: “We confiscated it.”
Duffy: “Oh what you have okay okay, that’s the way in Brazil, okay. And did Pat Hickey have a second passport?”
Falcão: “He had a second passport he gave to the police, yes.”
Duffy: “And is the second passport Irish?”
Falcão: “Yeah, I think so.”
Duffy: “But you can’t have two passports. And both passports were valid?”
Falcão: “Yeah, yeah, I think because he travels a lot he has a second passport.”
Duffy: “A spare one. But you’re adamant It wasn’t a false passport, it was a spare passport.”
Falcão: “It’s original, it’s a true passport.”
Duffy: “But there’s nothing wrong with that is there?”
Falcão: “Nothing wrong.”
Duffy: “Okay Commissioner thank you for your time.”
Falcão: “Okay thank you I appreciate that also. Sorry for the question I didn’t answer. It’s difficult to talk over the phone. I’m not good at the language.”
Duffy: “But given that you raised the question you didn’t answer, do you regret, are you sorry that you let the cameras in to a 71 year old man in distress?
Falcão: “No, I didn’t authorise that, I didn’t. It was a problem with the hotel security.”
Duffy: “And also, do you carry a gun?”
Falcão: “ I can tell you, I didn’t like what happened.”
Duffy: “Well then why didn’t you tell the media, you have a gun on you in the photographs, why didn’t you tell the media to get lost.”
Falcão: “The media were there, a lot of television, they saw the police coming in, they entered in the hotel, security people didn’t stop them, when Pat Hickey was arrested we didn’t put anything on the internet, we went out through the basement because of the media, I authorised this, he asked me can I go out through the basement because of the media and I said, sure, yes.”
Duffy: “And you’re saying Pat Hickey requested that he be taken out of the hotel privately?”
Falcão: “Yes, the basement, I authorised that.”
Duffy: “Commissioner Falcão, lead investigator with the Rio police, thank you.
Fair and balanced?
Or police brutality?
Only you can decide.
Earlier: Dan Boyle on Thursday
Previously: RTÉ Is Ireland’s Biggest Problem