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Prosecution tables suicide note in athlete Agnes Tirop's murder trial

Rift Valley
 The late Agnes Tirop, former 500m World bronze medalist who was found dead on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. [Courtesy]

A suicide note alleged to have been authored by Ibrahim Rotich, the key suspect in the murder of athlete Agnes Tirop has been tabled in court.

The High Court in Eldoret heard that Rotich wrote the note stating his intentions to end his life after allegedly killing the athlete.

Victor Koilel, Tirop's pace setter who testified before Justice Robert Wananda, recounted how he stumbled on a notebook, with the suicide note at the scene where the athlete’s body was found lying.

The prosecution produced the note, which was read out in court as an exhibit.

In the suicide note, Rotich claimed that he was in a toxic relationship with the deceased and that it was better if he died by suicide.

"There is no need for suffering in a stressful marriage, I would rather die by throwing myself in a river or through a fatal road accident,” read the note in part.

The note further read that no funeral ceremony should be held for the accused after his death.

Koilel said that after finding the suicide note, he gave it to the athlete's father Vincent Tirop, who handed it over to police who were carrying out investigations into the murder.

He told the court that he found the note after the scene of crime officers had completed their preliminary investigations and had transported the late Tirop's body to Iten County Referral Hospital Mortuary (ICRH) for preservation awaiting post-mortem.

"After the police had completed processing the scene of crime and had taken the body to the morgue, we began packing Tirop's belongings from the Iten house in order to take them to her home. That is when I stumbled on the suicide note," Koilel said.

The witness also revealed how the deceased would often complain about the accused's extravagant spending on drinks.

He claimed that the accused was spending Tirop's hard earned money and whenever she questioned him, he would assault her.

Vincent Tirop who continued with his testimony after the court adjourned earlier, when he complained of fatigue, narrated how Rotich eloped with his daughter in 2016 forcing her to drop out of school in Form Two.

He said he searched for his daughter for years but later learned that the accused barred her from communicating with the family after they started co-habiting.

Martin Tirop, the deceased’s brother told the court how the accused mistreated the family whenever they asked their sister for financial support.

“He (Rotich) did not want to see us anywhere near our sister. He never wanted us to interact or seek any kind of financial assistance from our late sister,” said Martin.

Rotich who is out on Sh500,000 cash bail denied the charge of murdering Tirop.

Tirop 25, participated in Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2021, featuring in the 5,000-metre race in which she finished fourth.

She won a bronze medal at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships in the 10,000m and also broke the World record in the women’s 10km road race at the Adizero Road race in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

The athlete was found dead in her house in Rural estate in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County on October 13, 2021.

The postmortem report showed that Tirop suffered neck stabs and was hit on the head with a blunt object.

More witnesses are expected to testify in the trial.

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