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Keino turns state witness in Rio graft case

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Kipchoge Keino will now give evidence against figures including Kenya’s former sports minister © AFP/File / Tony KARUMBA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 16 – Kenya’s former Olympic chief Kipchoge Keino will become a witness for the prosecution after charges of corruption at the 2016 Olympics against him were dropped, his lawyer said Friday.

Keino, 78, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, was due to be charged with six other officials, including former Kenyan sports minister Hassan Wario, over the misappropriation of more than 55 million shillings ($545,000).

But the prosecution told the court on Friday that the charges against Keino had been dropped and he will appear as the key prosecution witness.

His lawyer Cecil Miller confirmed that Keino was a free man.

“The new charge says that Keino is no longer an accused person. He has been converted to a prosecution witness,” Miller told AFP.

“It is a big relief to us all,” he added.

The accused are facing charges ranging from abuse of office to failing to comply with laws on the management of public funds.

They cover the alleged crimes of embezzlement, the purchase of unauthorised air tickets, overpayment of allowances and expenditure on unauthorised persons, all to the amount of 55 million shillings.

Corruption is rife in Kenya, with millions of dollars of public funds going missing each year, and the country was left red-faced during its 2016 Olympic campaign which also saw athletes’ team uniforms stolen by officials.

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