A judge in Brazil has ruled that former Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey is to be given back his passport and permitted to leave the country for medical reasons.

Justice Juliana Leal de Melo of the Special Court for Supporter and Large Events in Rio de Janeiro, which had jurisdiction during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, ruled tonight that Mr Hickey can be allowed to leave Brazil "to treat a health problem".

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Mr Hickey, 71, must pay a bond to the court of €410,000 (1.5m Brazilian dollars).

He is among ten people facing charges related to an investigation into alleged ticket touting at Rio 2016. He has denied all allegations made against him.

Although released almost two weeks after his arrest in August, Brazilian officials have retained Mr Hickey's passport.

He has stood aside as president of the OCI during the investigation.

In her deliberation, the judge said that as Mr Hickey "has no links with Brazil", she would allow him to leave to receive medical attention. 

She noted that there was a risk that Mr Hickey may not return to Brazil, but that this needed to be balanced with health concerns.

The judge said that Mr Hickey should be allowed to attend to his health, provided that it did not interfere with the ongoing case.

In addition to payment of the bond, Mr Hickey must agree to fully cooperate with the legal process in Brazil and be present for any calls that are made of him as the process continues. 

The judge further agreed that the case be split, as per a request from the public defenders office. 

Marcus Evans, Michael Glynn, Ken Murray, Maarten Van Os, David Gilmore, and Martin Studd will answer to one legal process in Brazil.

Mr Hickey, Kevin Mallon, Barbara Carnieri and Eamonn Collins will answer to another.

She also rejected requests made that the legal process be shelved due to a "lack of just cause" as was claimed by Mr Hickey's and Mr Mallon's legal teams.

In her judgment, Justice Leal de Melo also gave permission for Brazilian authorities to have full access to phone and other electronic devices which were apprehended during the police investigation and she gave 30 days for Brazilian police to come back with their findings.