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DAY IN COURT: Two Nock officials appear in court, but Chef de Mission absent

ATHLETICS By Faith Karanja | August 30th 2016
NOCK officials in court National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) officials from right, Francis Kanyiri Paul (secretary general) with Puis Ochieng (General Team Manager) at milimani law courts in Nairobi on August 29 2016 after they were arrested on Friday night arrested in connection to the Rio 2016 Olympics scandal which saw several athletes miss tickets, accreditation documents and others stranded in Brazil days after the closing ceremony of the competitions.PHOTO DAVID NJAAGA/STANDARD}

Two officials of the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK) were yesterday arraigned in court over abuse of office and theft claims.

General Team Manager Pius Ochieng and the Secretary General Francis Kanyiri Paul were each released on Sh200,000 cash bail.

They appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Charity Oluoch who released them pending the investigations by the prosecution.

“The suspects must deposit their travel documents to court and be reporting to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations DCI twice a week,” said Oluoch.

She also directed the suspects to be notifying the court whenever they need to travel outside the country.

Stephen Soi, who is the head of team Kenya to the Rio Olympics, was said to be unwell and could not make it to court yesterday.

The magistrate directed the prosecution to verify the medical documents presented in court and be back in court on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Dancun Ondimu had sought three weeks to complete the investigations. He made an application to have the suspects detained till then, claiming they are a flight risk and may interfere with investigations.

“The suspects might interfere with the witnesses if released and if they will be released then strict regulations should be enforced to ensure they appear in court for proceedings, “said Ondimu.

He added that the suspects are accused of theft, abuse of office and neglect of duty and the investigations will include other Government agencies.

He said they need to travel to other towns to record witness statements. He added that a majority of the statements to be recorded include several sports personalities who represented the country in the Rio 2016 Olympic games.

Ondimu told the court the suspects are influential personnel with capacity to interfere with investigations and possible witnesses.

“A number of NOCK officials are not yet back in the country and this includes the chairperson Kipchoge Keino and there is need for him to shed light on what happened before, during and after Rio 2016 Olympics,” said Ondimu.

Keino arrived yesterday.

He added the investigations being conducted involve the reputation of the sports and the management of the sports in the country.

Defence lawyer Peter Githeka said the respondents are not a flight risk and will not interfere with the witnesses.

“The suspects have a right to movement and the prosecution does not have any evidence to have the suspects detained,” said Githeka.

He termed the prosecution application as an abuse of office and the investigations can still proceed while the accused are out of custody.

Githeka said the investigating officer and the prosecution was acting in bad faith and that Kanyiri (FK), in custody since Friday, had not been informed why he was detained.

The matter will be mentioned on September 19.


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