The date of the trial of former president of Olympic Council of Ireland Pat Hickey has been set for late November in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The 72-year-old, who has insisted his innocence, faces charges over an alleged scheme to sell Olympic tickets illegally.

Almost a year has passed since Mr Hickey was arrested and charged over an alleged scheme to sell tickets for the 2016 Rio Olympic tickets illegally.

He had spent 12 nights in Bangu prison and several months in Brazil before he was given permission to return to Ireland last Christmas on medical grounds.

He also had to pay a bond worth around €400,000.

Today came word from Brazil that the date of 29 November has been set for the trial.

Court documents lodged show that Mr Hickey along with Dubliner Kevin Mallon both proclaim their innocence.

Their legal teams have said that no crime was committed and cited a lack of evidence.

Mr Hickey's lawyer suggested that he may testify by video link at the discretion of the judge.

Last week the prosecutor said if Mr Hickey did not return to Brazil for trial, the bond would be retained locally.

Justice Guilherme Schilling Duarte published a statement on the Rio de Janeiro courts systems in recent days to set the date.

He said that of the accused, only Mr Hickey and Kevin Mallon have responded to criminal accusations relating to the ticket touting controversy so far.

A Brazilian woman, Barbara Carnieri, arrested alongside Mr Mallon, has not responded, and is not thought to be in Brazil. Other defendants, originally listed in the Hickey case, have been summoned 'por edital' (by publication), in a separate and ongoing criminal process.

In his written statement, Mr Justice Schilling Duarte says that the respective defence teams of Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon had "confused themselves" with the material substance of the case. Both defence teams argued that no crime was committed by their clients, and cited a lack of evidence to the contrary.

The judge commented that, while the arguments of legal teams "will be resolved during the course of the instruction", there is just cause to proceed with the criminal trial.

"I verify the presence of all of the conditions necessary for the ignition of penal action, with especial emphasis on just cause." 

He said there was "no hypothesis for summary absolution".