By Kenya Confidential Legal Affairs Editor – Nairobi, September 28, 2016
Part of the money stolen by Soi was meant to meet accommodation costs for officials accompanying the Kenyan team in Rio de Janeiro
Former National Olympic Committee Kenya (NOC-K) boss Stephen Arap Soi, was today charged with five counts of theft involving more than $252,000 and other related fraud offenses.
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) Secretary-General Francis Paul and Rio Olympics team manager Pius Ochieng were also in court and faced charges related to kits meant for Team Kenya. They are facing charges of failing to declare uniforms donated by sports goods manufacturer Nike between June and July this year. The three former officials of Kenya’s disbanded Olympic committee were charged with theft and fraud offences relating to this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Part of the money stolen by Soi was meant to meet accommodation costs for officials accompanying the Kenyan team in Rio de Janeiro. All the officials pleaded not guilty during a court session in Nairobi and were released on bail of 200,000 Kenyan shillings each. The trial will start on Oct. 24.
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Kenya bagged its biggest ever haul of medals in Brazil but doping allegations and organisational problems plagued preparations for the event. The officials were arrested on their return from Rio at the end of August over their roles in the alleged mismanagement of the Kenyan team’s preparations for the Games.
The National Olympic Committee was disbanded on Aug. 25 following public pressure and a directive from President Uhuru Kenyatta for the situation to be investigated. The secretary general Francis Paul was initially arrested and locked up at Muthaiga Police Station awaiting trial charges.
Paul, who was arrested a few days after arrival from Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil, was grilled by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) officers at their headquarters in Gigiri before being taken to Muthaiga Police station. The DCI officers also raided NOCK officers at the 2000 Plaza, Mombasa Road where they recovered hundreds of cartons containing Team Kenya uniforms for Rio Olympic Games.
“The consignment is big and we surely don’t know why these uniforms were not given to the team,” said the DCI source. Chef de mission Soi, who is also a top officer at General Service Unit and NOC-K deputy treasurer, was a main target as an officer gone rogue.
The arrests came a day after Cabinet Secretary for sports Hassan Wario disbanded NOC-K owing to mismanagement of Team Kenya for Rio Olympic Games.