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Friday, May 26, 2017

Case against four senior Nock officials drags on

Nock officials Francis Kinyili Paul and Pius Ochieng. /COURTESY
Nock officials Francis Kinyili Paul and Pius Ochieng. /COURTESY

The hearing of a case in which National Olympic Committee of Kenya officials are charged with theft of funds and kits meant for Team Kenya to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games continue to drag on with no clear hint on when it will start.
The case against Pius Ochieng, Francis Paul, Stephen Arap Soi and Bernard Ekumbo has stalled because the prosecution and the defence have been jostling on what documents and exhibits to share.
But yesterday, chief magistrate Francis Adayi directed the prosecution to supply the witness statements by today without fail.
The prosecution has been telling court that they were still pursuing an inquiry file being held by the Director of Criminal Investigations. But yesterday, the court heard that the inquiry file is not related to the case against the officials.
“There is nothing stopping the hearing of this case. Let the prosecution supply the witness statements by Wednesday (today) and this case to proceed without fail,” Adayi said.
The magistrate’s direction came even as the investigating Officer Mike Kimunya told court that they were still pursuing more evidence.
“We have written to authorities in United States of America seeking to have more information from Nike but we have not succeeded yet. We are waiting for the budgetary allocation to get money so that we can travel to America to record statements,” Kimunya said.
The officer said they were not ready to release two computers being sought by the defence as they are waiting for a report from the US so that they can compare it with another from the cybercrime.
“We also wrote a letter to the auditor general to do a forensic audit from Nock but to date, we have not received a response.”
The Nock officials were arrested and charged 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.
Soi faces four charges of theft of Sh23,980,000 while Ekumbo is accused of conspiring to steal Sh1,050,000. Soi is also facing another charge of failing to report conveyance of monetary instruments to authorized officers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Kinyili and Ochieng have denied that they fraudulently appropriated uniforms for athletes donated by Nike for use during the games. The case will now come up again on June 26.

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