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ELECTION 2022

Suspect in murder of athlete Agnes Tirop to remain in remand until March

RIFT VALLEY
By Lynn Kolongei | Dec 16th 2021 | 3 min read
Ibrahim Kipkemboi Rotich alias Manu at the Eldoret High Court. [Peter Ochieng', Standard]

Ibrahim Rotich, the key suspect in the murder of international athlete Agnes Tirop, will remain in remand until March 2022 when he is expected to know his fate.

This is after the hearing of his bond application was postponed by the High Court in Eldoret on Wednesday 15 December. 

Justice Reuben Nyakundi, who was to preside over the matter, is away on official duties and this has prompted the court to set another date for the hearing.

The case failed to proceed during mention on December 1 after the probation officer who was tasked with preparing a pre-bail report requested 14 more days to complete it.

Nyakundi had directed that the probation team first works on the report that will help in determining whether Rotich,42, would be released on bond or not.

Probation officer David Barasa had prayed for the two weeks to collect more information.

Denied charges

On November 16, Rotich denied the charge of murdering his lover. The prosecution had then told the court that it had already filed an affidavit opposing the release of the accused on bond.

While opposing Rotich's bond application, the prosecution together with the investigation team led by David Fedha and Philip Ndeto, said they had overwhelming evidence linking the suspect to the murder and feared that the accused to abscond court if released.

The prosecution, in its affidavit, also argued that the accused might influence, intimidate or interfere with witnesses if released.

The affidavit stated that among the 10 key witnesses expected to testify in court are Rotich’s family members, including his brothers and cousins who are well known to him.

The court also heard that the accused had threatened to take his own life before his arrest and that there was a likelihood he may decide to commit suicide if freed.

“When the scene of the crime was documented and evidence collected, some exhibits among them a suicide note by the accused were collected,” reads part of the affidavit.

The prosecution also termed Rotich a flight risk citing the fact that he fled to Mombasa County and was heading to an unknown destination after the incident on October 13 before he was arrested.

“The matter is also in the public domain and of great importance given the deceased was a renowned international athlete. If released, therefore, the accused’s personal security is not guaranteed,” further read the affidavit.

The late Agnes Tirop. [Courtesy]

Tirop,25, was a star athlete who had participated in the Tokyo Olympics where she featured in the 5,000-metre race in which she finished fourth.

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

A postmortem carried out by two pathologists at the Iten County Referral Hospital mortuary revealed Tirop had suffered stabs in the neck and was hit on the head with a blunt object.

The runner was buried at her parent’s home in Nandi County on October 23.

Rotich's bond application will be heard on March 9 2022.

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