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Keino given more time to report to police in corruption case

Running great Kip Keino has been given more time to report to police in Kenya after being one of seven former Olympic and government officials accused of corruption relating to the misappropriation of more than $545,000

Reported by: AP [ Published on: October 15, 2018 18:45 IST ]
Image Source : AP Keino given more time to report to police in corruption case

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Running great Kip Keino was given more time Monday to report to police in Kenya after being one of seven former Olympic and government officials accused of corruption relating to the misappropriation of more than $545,000 around the time of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

The seven were ordered to report to police and appear in court on Monday but Keino, a two-time Olympic champion, was one of four who did not.

A judge extended their deadline until 6 a.m. Thursday and ordered they then appear in court Friday to enter pleas. The judge said warrants for their arrest would be issued if they didn't hand themselves in on Thursday.

Former Kenyan sports minister Hassan Wario is one of the suspects and also did not appear on Monday. The other two who did not appear were former sports ministry officials Harun Chebet and Patrick Nkabu.

The case relates to money set aside to fund Kenya's team at the Rio Olympics. It was allegedly embezzled and misused by Keino and the others. Keino was the head of the Kenyan Olympic committee at the time.

The three who did appear in court were former Olympic committee secretary general Francis Kanyili, Rio team manager Stephen Arap Soi and former sports ministry official Richard Ekai.

They all denied the charges and were granted $20,000 bail each.

Judge Douglas Ogoti also said the trial would start on Nov. 16, when the 78-year-old Keino — one of the world's most revered distance runners — would answer accusations that he is corrupt.

Kenya's director of public prosecutions announced Saturday that the seven should be charged with multiple counts of corruption and abuse of office.

The decision came after nearly two years of investigating allegations of corruption around Kenya's 2016 Olympic team.

The seven former officials are accused of embezzling more than $200,000, wasting more than $150,000 on unused air tickets to Rio, overpaying allowances amounting to nearly $150,000, and incurring tens of thousands of dollars of other expenditure on "unauthorized persons," according to prosecution documents.

The court charge sheet listed 17 counts relating to corruption and abuse of office.

Keino's cell phone appeared to be switched off on Monday. He hasn't responded publicly to the accusations.

Keino's gold medal in the 1,500 meters at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics paved the way for decades of dominance by Kenyan runners. He also won gold in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 1972 Munich Games.

He was made an honorary member of the IOC in 2011, was one of the first athletes named in track and field's hall of fame in 2012, and was the first recipient of the Olympic Laurel award for service to the Olympic movement.

That award was given to him at the opening ceremony in Rio, at the time when prosecutors say he was involved in the embezzlement and misuse of more than half a million dollars that was meant to help his athletes.

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Imray reported from Somerset West, South Africa.

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Disclaimer: This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Associated Press (AP) wire.

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