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Ibrahim Rotich: I didn’t kill Agnes Tirop

By Lynn Kolongei | November 17th 2021
Ibrahim Rotich the main suspect behind murder of athlete Agnes Tirop before Eldoret High Court to take a plea on November 16, 2021. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

Ibrahim Rotich, the key suspect in the murder of athlete Agnes Tirop, has denied the 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 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 Township, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

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

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

In their application, they said they had laid down various reasons warranting denial of bail, including the accused being a flight risk and a hostile ground, given the case has been highly publicized in the media.

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 the next 14 days. “Since the prosecution has gone ahead and filed and served an affidavit opposing awarding of bail or bond, I direct that the defence makes a rejoinder on the affidavit rather than filing an application for release on bond,” said Justice Nyakundi.

Tirop’s father Vincent Tirop and her siblings were present during the plea-taking session.

The late Agnes Tirop. [Courtesy]

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

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

The prosecution had told court they had overwhelming evidence connecting Rotich to his lover’s murder, and that the prosecution would prefer murder charges against him.

Justice Nyakundi directed that Rotich be remanded in Eldoret GK Prison until the ruling on release on bond is given. The case will come up on December 1, to determine whether the accused will be released on bond.

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

Tirop, 25, was a star athlete who had participated in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, featuring in the 5000-metre race in which she finished fourth.

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

The postmortem done by two pathologists at the Iten County Referral Hospital mortuary showed that Tirop had suffered neck stabs and was hit on the head using a blunt object. She was buried at her parents’ home in Nandi County on October 23, the day she would have turned 26.

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