By Edwin Cheserek
World 3,000 metres steeplechase record holder Ezekiel Kemboi was arraigned in an Eldoret court and charged with assault.
Kemboi was ushered into the court from Eldoret Police Station where he had been held under tight security.
Kemboi was charged that on June 27 at West Indies estate on the outskirts of Eldoret town, he assaulted Anne Njeri causing her serious injuries.
Kemboi, however, denied the accusations before Eldoret Principal Magistrate Francis Kyambia. The court was jammed with fellow athletes and the public.
The sportsman was represented by two Eldoret based lawyers, Michael Chemwok and Ledisha Kipseii.
Kemboi was released on a cash bail of Sh20,000 or a bond of Sh50,000 with a surety of similar amount.
The case will be heard on September 25. Later, Kemboi’s lawyer Chemwok alleged outside the court that the case was turned against his client.
He said Kemboi, who first complained that he had been attacked, was being charged instead of those who tried to rob him.
He said: “What our client has been charged with is an offence, which should have been preferred against the people who attacked him.”
After his release Thursday, Kemboi told journalists he was attacked by five people including Njeri, but would leave it to his lawyers to defend him.
|Ezekiel Kemboi in an Eldoret court for allegedly stabbing a woman.|
The saga allegedly started at a popular entertainment joint in the town on Wednesday night where the two were drinking as they watched a football match.
After the end of the match, Kemboi and Njeri are said to have left the club together. In an interview with The Standard at her hospital bed, Njeri, who operates a restaurant in the town, said Kemboi offered to drop her home and she accepted.
The woman claimed she requested the athlete to stop at a fast food restaurant in Eldoret town, which he did.
She returned to the car and they then proceeded to West Indies estate where she lives with her parents.
On reaching the gate leading to their compound, she said Kemboi parked the car and locked the doors.
“I asked him why he had locked the doors but he asked me to have sex with him. I told him I cannot have sex with a stranger,” she said.
She added they started fighting in the car before he opened the door. The woman claimed she jumped out of the car but as she opened the gate, she realised she had left her purse and went for it.
She alleged they fought the second time before Kemboi allegedly removed a knife and stabbed her on the chest.
But Kemboi in a separate account denied stabbing her but admitted that he was the one who dropped her home.
He claimed Njeri conspired with two men to rob him.
“The attackers, who she had met when she went to a fast food hotel, called me by name. They ordered me to give them money and a scuffle ensued before one of them attempted to stab me,” said Kemboi.
The assailants, according to Kemboi, missed him and stabbed Njeri before they took off.
Njeri’s father Charles Mweya, who at the time of the incident was at home, said his other daughter Millicent Otieno informed him someone was being beaten at the gate.
“We rushed to the gate and saw a vehicle speeding off. My daughter was lying down writhing in pain,” claimed Otieno.
He said Njeri was unconscious and was bleeding profusely. They rushed her to Mediheal hospital where she is undergoing treatment.
When The Standard visited the scene Thursday, Kemboi’s wallet containing his Identity Card, police job card, Sh1,000 and foreign currencies were still there.