NAIROBI, Kenya, July 4- The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Keriako Tobiko, has called for the case file of Athens 2004 Olympics and two-time Worlds steeplechase champion, Ezekiel Kemboi for review and proper directions on how his assault case will proceed.
The latest twist comes in the heels of the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock) clearing the Berlin and Daegu world champion to compete at the forthcoming London 2012 Games sustaining Kemboi’s bid for history as the first Kenyan steeplechaser to win two gold medals at the quadrennial showpiece.
Keriako, whose office gives him powers to terminate charges (Nolle Prosequi) or ask for fresh investigations, expressed reservations with how police conducted inquiry into allegations that Kemboi assaulted 26-year-old Ann Njeri Otieno last Wednesday in Eldoret that led to the track star being arraigned his court the following day.
He has asked Police Commissioner, Matthew Iteere, to present the said file to his office opening a fresh turn to the saga that has captivated the nation for the past week.
The DPP’s orders comes after Kemboi, through his Nairobi lawyer Philip Murgor, cast doubt on the manner which police in Eldoret found him fit to be charged with assault after his alleged victim, Njeri, a restaurant owner in the town accused him of turning violent when she reportedly declined his sexual overtures after a night out.
“This is an apparent case of jealousy within the police force since the correct procedures of charging someone in court were not followed in Kemboi’s case. I urge the DPP to review this case so that proper investigations can be done,” Murgor, a former DPP, told the media on Sunday flanked by the steeplechase star.
“I’m a police officer and patriot and this is not the right way to rush someone to court. I was not given an opportunity to state my case after the incident and I was surprised to find myself in court so quickly,” the London-bound runner who is training with his teammates at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani added.
A source familiar with the happenings of the case confided to Capital FM on condition of anonymity that the suit was due to take a different complexion on Tuesday.
“The matter is in court but in truth, the wrong person is on the dock and this will become clearer in the next few days,” the top official in the team added.
On Friday, Nock official and Team Kenya CEO, Stephen Soi, intimated the popular athlete could have been stitched up in the case when announcing a probe by the body that eventually exonerated Kemboi to compete at the Olympics.
“The details I have on the matter differ with the account that was presented to police and I cannot divulge them since it would be sub judice. As far as we are concerned, the incident is an allegation and Kemboi is presumed guilty until proven innocent as our constitution guarantees,” Soi said at the time.
On Tuesday night during departure of the first batch of Team Kenya athletes for London via a training camp in Bristol, Soi asserted that Nock would shield Kemboi from any adverse publicity generated by the charges at the Games.
“We have been assured by Kemboi that he will remain focused despite the accusations and we shall protect him as far as the Olympics are concerned. Beyond that, it is the duty of the court to establish whether he is guilty or not but I must stress he has not broken the Olympics Charter that would have given us grounds to pull him out of the team,” the CEO charged.
The alleged victim, Njoki, a 26-year-old restaurant owner was admitted to Eldoret’s Med Hill Hospital after the incident with a stab wound to the chest in the aftermath of the supposed altercation that occurred at the gate of her parent’s home in the outskirts of the town.
Njeri told reporters from her hospital bed on Thursday how the steeplechaser had beaten her after they got to an argument but Kemboi maintained events leading up to the stabbing incident were the result of a bid to rob him of his money and other valuables.
The case is set to be heard in September should the DPP’s intervention fail to change its course.