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Ibrahim Rotich denies killing athlete Agnes Tirop

COUNTIES
By Lynn Kolongei | November 16th 2021

Ibrahim Kipkemboi Rotich at the Eldoret High Court. [Peter Ochieng, Stansard]

Ibrahim Rotich, the key suspect in the murder of athlete Agnes Tirop, has denied murder charges before the High Court in Eldoret.

Appearing before Justice Reuben Nyakundi, Rotich, 41, pleaded not guilty after the mental assessment report from the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital showed that he was fit to stand trial.

According to the particulars of the charge, Rotich is said to have killed Tirop on October 12 at Rural estate in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet county.

Joseline Mitei, who was holding brief for Rotich’s lawyer Ngigi Mbugua, told the court the defence was working on filing an application for release on bond or bail.

However, the prosecution led by David Fedha told the court they had already filed an affidavit on November 9, opposing Rotich’s release on bond.

In their application, they said they had laid down reasons warranting the denial of bail, including that the accused is a flight risk.

Justice Nyakundi directed that the defence files a reply to the affidavit filed by the prosecution and that a pre-bail report be prepared in 14 days.

Tirop’s father Vincent Tirop as well as Rotich’s siblings were present during the plea-taking session.

Last week, Deputy Registrar Diana Milimu directed that Rotich undergo a mental assessment at the MTRH before taking the plea.

Rotich had earlier been arraigned at the law courts in Iten, where the miscellaneous file which allowed the DCI to conduct further investigations was closed.

The prosecution told the court they had overwhelming evidence connecting Rotich to his lover’s death.

Justice Nyakundi directed that Rotich be remanded in Eldoret GK Prison until the ruling on release on bond is given on December 1.

Rotich was arrested at a police roadblock at Chaani in Changamwe, about six kilometres from Mombasa.

Tirop, 25, participated in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, featuring in the 5,000m race in which she finished fourth.

The athlete was found dead in her house in Iten on October 13.

The postmortem by two pathologists at the Iten County Referral Hospital (ICRH) mortuary revealed that Tirop had suffered neck stabs and was hit on the head with a blunt object.

She was buried at her parent’s home in Nandi on October 23, on a day when she would have turned 26.

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