- Citizen Digital
Former National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK) official Stephen Soi, who led Team Kenya to the Rio Olympics in 2016 broke down in court on Tuesday, July 21, as he defended himself in a Nairobi Court.
Soi was charged in connection with Ksh26.5 million that saw high-ranking sports officials including former NOCK chairman Kipchoge Keino grilled, although charges against him were eventually dropped.
The court session stopped momentarily as the Judge at the Anti-Corruption Court allowed Soi's wife to get closer to the dock to console her tearful husband.
Soi pleaded his innocence, telling the court of his shock after he was arrested as he was not an accounting officer for Kenya's delegation to the games.File image of former Team Kenya Chef-de-Mission Stephen Soi in courtFile
He cried as he told Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma of his history as a distinguished retired police officer, claiming that the case against him was part of a witch-hunt.
“My signature of authorisation for payment is not in the payment vouchers. At the time the payments were made I was in Rio. The charges are fake and confused as they do not disclose any offence," he asserted.
Soi further told the court that he was being harassed as a senior citizen following his arrest.
He dismissed allegations that he siphoned funds through the purchase of air tickets, reiterating that he was not involved in the acquisition of air tickets for the team.
“I am not a ticket agent and the charge sheet would have disclosed details such as I paid the air tickets to who. I was also not at the scene of crime – the NOCK office," Soi maintained.
He claimed that the NOCK treasurer at the time, Fridah Shiroya, was responsible for the alleged fraud but had become a prosecution witness after charges against her were dropped.
He further stated that the allegations that he authorised payments to former NOCK officials John Paul and Kipchoge Keino were false. Shiroya argued that he was in no position to offer benefits to his seniors in the Olympics committee.
Others charged in the scandal include former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario, former Principal Secretary Richard Ekai, Patrick Kimathi, Francis Paul and Nkabu Haron Komen.File image of former Team Kenya Chef-de-Mission Stephen SoiDaily Nationharass arrest
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