NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 18 – Athletics legend Kipchoge Keino may not be charged in court after all over the Sh55 million scandal in the 2016 in Rio Olympics games.
Senior detectives investigating the case say they will use Keino as a witness against former Sports Ministry officials who are accused of various omissions and commissions leading to the loss of Sh55 million.
“We are reviewing some issues over emerging details that will see Kipchoge Keino become a witness. He apparently never signed documents,” John Kariuki, the head of investigations at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said.
Another senior detective speaking to us anonymously because he is not authorized to comment on active investigations said they had weighed on the need to safeguard the legend’s reputation after he agreed to stand in as a witness, in what is seen as heavy political influence to have him set free.
Keino served as the chairman of the Kenya Olympics Committee until September 2017 and is a two-time Olympic gold medallist.
Several politicians from Rift Valley have been holding press conferences calling for charges against the retired track and field champion to be dropped.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji had approved charges against Keino, and he was even ordered to present himself to court Thursday ahead of charges.
The statement had indicated that Keino was to be charged with abuse of office and wilful failure to comply with laws relating to public funds management.
Detectives said they will only charge former Sports CS Hassan Wario who is Kenya’s Ambassador to Austria, Haron Komen and Patrick Nkabu who turned themselves in Thursday morning.
Wario arrived in the country from Vienna on Wednesday night, to beat a deadline issued by a Magistrate Douglas Ogoti for him to present himself to police by Thursday 6am, to be processed for court appearance.
Former Sports Principal Secretary Titus Ekai and two others were charged over the scandal last week and denied charges before they were freed on a cash bail of Sh1 million each.
All the accused persons were ordered to surrender their travel documents.
A statement issued by the DPP showed that Wario is facing six counts of abuse of office, for improperly conferring a benefit to six individuals who travelled to the Rio Olympics funded by the tax payer at a cost of Sh5.4 million.