Rio scandal: Case adjourned after prosecutor contracts Covid-19

The hearing of the Sh88 million Rio Olympics scandal has been adjourned after the lead prosecutor tested positive for the coronavirus.

As a result, two assistants who had come to step in for her were recalled to the office for testing since they had come into contact with their admitted colleague.

“We have been recalled to the office to be tested since our colleague has been taken ill and she is our desk mate and the DPP wants us to undergo the mandatory test,” one of the two assistants told the court.

Milimani Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma heard that the said prosecutor was already in isolation.

While adjourning the hearing, the magistrate said it was proper to avert any risk or endangering lives.

“Since one of the prosecution counsels got exposed to Covid-19, it is not appropriate to proceed. She should keep the social distance and isolate,” stated Ms Juma.

The hearing was fixed to be heard next month for seven days on August 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24 and 26 so as to expedite the determination.

Defence lawyers for the six accused led by Kimutai Bosek did not oppose the request by the DPP saying that everybody is at risk of getting the virus and wished their admitted colleague well.

Mr Stephen arap Soi, who was Team Kenya’s Chef-de-Mission in the 2016 Olympics, was set to continue with his defence on Wednesday before the development.

After being stood down from the witness box, Mr Soi’s lawyer Kimutai Bosek said he will require 15 hours to finish his defence evidence.

He is charged alongside Former Sports SC Hassan Wario, former Principal Secretary Richard Ekai, Haron Komen, Francis Paul and Mr Patrick Kimathi Nkabu.

Last week while making his defence, Mr Soi denied charges of abuse of office involving siphoning off of funds meant for athletes.

He said he was not the accounting officer of the National Olympic Committee (NOC-K) during the 2016 Rio Games and that when the money was misappropriated by purchasing tickets for undeserving persons, he was not in the country.

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