Economy

Kenya 2016 Olympics team boss faults jailing

soi

Head of mission to 2016 Rio Olympics Stephen Arap Soi. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NMG

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Summary

  • In the appeal before the High Court, Soi says he was neither an authority to incur expenditure holder nor an accounting officer appointed by the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) on the mission to Rio in Brazil.
  • Mr Soi was found guilty together with former Sports CS Hassan Wario and sentenced to 17 years in jail after he failed to pay a fine of Sh105.6 million.
  • Before the appeal is heard, Soi has pleaded with the court to release him on bail saying he is sick, suffering from chronic diseases that require constant medical attention and checkup from his personal doctor.

Head of mission to 2016 Rio Olympics Stephen Arap Soi, who is serving 17 years in prison for abuse of office, has faulted his jailing saying he did not have authority to receive the money he is accused of misusing.

In the appeal before the High Court, Soi says he was neither an authority to incur expenditure holder nor an accounting officer appointed by the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) on the mission to Rio in Brazil.

He says for him to incur expenditure, he must have the authority from the Treasury and did not access the funds he is accused of misappropriating.

Mr Soi was found guilty together with former Sports CS Hassan Wario and sentenced to 17 years in jail after he failed to pay a fine of Sh105.6 million.

Other than authorising the cancellation of air tickets resulting in a loss of Sh9.7 million public funds, he was accused of overpaying allowances to officials, athletes and journalists who travelled to Rio.

Dr Wario had been sentenced to six years with an option of paying a fine of Sh3.6 million, which he paid and was freed.

Mr Soi further says he was discriminated against and condemned to pay fines for allowances said to have been overpaid to athletes and sports officials, yet the decision was arrived at by the National Steering Committee, which comprised several individuals.

The ex-police officer says chief magistrate Elizabeth Juma convicted him on a misinterpretation of the law that he was discharging his duties as a police officer yet he was on an assignment given to him by NOC-K, an affiliate of the International Olympic Committee, whose functions have nothing to do with public duties in Kenya.

He also said he was not in Kenya between July 20 and August 26, 2016, when the cash was paid out to athletes and officials.

Before the appeal is heard, Soi has pleaded with the court to release him on bail saying he is sick, suffering from chronic diseases that require constant medical attention and checkup from his personal doctor.

In the appeal to be heard on December 16, Soi says he is an elderly man at 65 years and his health might deteriorate while in prison, yet his appeal has high chances of success.

“The applicant is apprehensive that his health will be greatly affected is this application is not heard urgently as he will not be able to get the required medical care and attention while in custody because of his medical condition he is required to adhere to strict diet and to take medication and have checkups on strict occasions,” his lawyer Kimutai Bosek said.

The former police officer said he is the sole breadwinner and keeping him in custody will leave his family destitute.

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