BrasÃlia (AFP) - A British World Cup ticketing executive who allegedly took part in a scam to sell millions of dollars' worth of fraudulent tickets was ordered to be released from prison Tuesday while awaiting trial in Brazil.
Supreme Court justice Marco Aurelio Mello ordered Briton Ray Whelan would be freed for now, but said he must remain in the Rio de Janeiro area, according to court documents seen by AFP.
Whelan has been in jail since July 14 when he surrendered to authorities after four days on the run.
Police believe Whelan sold VIP tickets originally earmarked for non-governmental organizations, sponsors and players' relatives for resale via intermediaries.
He has been charged with fraudulently selling 1,000 tickets per World Cup match, allegedly worth tens of millions of dollars.
Whelan's contraband ticketing activities allegedly began at the 2002 World Cup, authorities said.
He could face up to four years in jail if found to have been involved in the illegal resale of tickets, and related illicit activities including money laundering.
The World Cup was held in Brazil from June 12 to July 13, with Germany beating Argentina 1-0 in the final.