Two out of three top Kenyan Olympic Committee members arrested at the weekend for alleged mismanagement of the country’s team at the Rio games were on Monday granted bail by a court in Nairobi.
Bail for the two, Francis Paul, Secretary- General of the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK) and Pius Ochieng, Vice Chairman of NOCK was set at 200,000 shillings, approximately $2000.
Prosecutors had requested the officials be remanded in custody for 21 days as they investigate them for theft, abuse of office and neglect of duty.
But the magistrate said there was no reason to deny them bail.
“I am alive to the fact that this matter has elicited public interest, at the same time I appreciate that the suspects have a right to liberty and the right to be released on bond unless there are compelling reasons not to,” said Magistrate Charity Oluoch.
She said while she was not opposed to releasing the officials on bond, certain conditions had to be imposed “to safeguard the interest of justice. I therefore give the following orders; that one, each respondent may be released on a cash bail of 200,000 shillings.”
The Magistrate also noted that: “During this period of time, they shall refrain from interfering with investigations in any way including contacting witnesses.”
The officials, as part of their bail conditions, have been asked to deposit their passports with the court. They have also been asked not to “leave the jurisdiction of the courts without the express permission of the court, and they shall also not appear in any premises owned by the National Olympics Council of Kenya without authorization by the investigating officer or the court.”
A third official, Stephen Soi who led the delegation to Rio has already been granted bail on medical grounds and so did not appear in court on Monday. His bail terms will however be determined on Wednesday as his lawyer said he was in hospital.
The officials are expected to reappear in court on September 19 for formal charges.
Kenya finished fifteenth on the overall medal table with 6 gold, 6 silver and one bronze medal.
Their Olympic campaign had been dogged by doping allegations and reports of ill treatment from the athletes.
The country’s Sports Minister has since dissolved the Olympic National Olympic Committee following the organisational problems.