Ezekiel Kemboi at the Eldoret Chief Magistrates Court [Photo: Kevin Tunoi]

By Edwin Cheserek

3000m Steeplechase Olympic Champion Ezekiel Kemboi got a reprieve Tuesday when an assault case against him was withdrawn.

Ms Anne Njeri Otieno told an Eldoret court that her decision to drop the case was to enable her concentrate on her studies.

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 She told the packed court that she feared that the case could drag for long thus interfering with her studies.

“The case could have taken too much of my time that is why I decided not to pursue it and instead create ample time for my studies,” she said.

Njeri said Kemboi did not know that she was going to request for termination of the case she had filed against the athletic icon.

The development seems to have got Kemboi unawares as he had pensively sat waiting for court orderlies to call out for his case.

This was when Njeri reached out to Kemboi’s lawyer Mr Michael Chemwok where they had some communication.

Moments later, Chemwok stood and told Eldoret Principal Magistrate Francis Kyambia that he had received communication that the complainant in the assault case wished to withdraw the suit.

Kemboi was charged that on June 27 at West Indies estate in the outskirts of Eldoret town, he assaulted Anne Njeri causing her injuries.

He was accused of allegedly assaulting the businesswoman whom he was accompanying on the material day after having drinks together at an entertainment joint.

Kemboi had earlier denied the accusations when he appeared before the court that was jammed by his fellow athletes and members of the public.

He was represented by two Eldoret based lawyers Michael Chemwok and Ledisha Kipseii.

The international athlete had been out on a cash bail of Sh20,000 and a surety of similar amount.

Chemwok later told a press conference that both parties agreed to have the case withdrawn and that he had no objection on the decision.

 “We have closed this serious chapter from today after the complainant decided to withdraw the case on her volition,” he said.

Kemboi’s defense team welcomed that move by Njeri to withdraw the case but said they were ready to proceed with the case to latter.

On Tuesday, Kemboi’s lawyers were waiting for communication from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DDP) on additional charges against their client.

“Philip Murgor and I were expecting communication from the DDP’s office on the amendment of the charges but we had not received any when the case was withdrawn,” said Chemwok.

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Kemboi assault olympics steeplechase