NAIROBI, Kenya- Embattled Rio 2016 Olympics Chef-de-Mission, Stephen Soi, claims the clearance to travel for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Seminar absolves him of charges preferred against him.
Soi is out on bail after being charged with stealing KSh 25,907,705.82 (USD256, 000) from the Government, National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK) and Athletics Kenya meant for Team Kenya athletes for last year’s Summer Games.
The outgoing NOCK Deputy Treasurer was cleared on Friday by a Nairobi court to proceed with the visa application process and will now attend the 21st Commonwealth Games Seminar in Gold Coast, Australia next month.
“I have maintained my innocence all through this period and nothing has changed. I think the court giving me a green light to travel to proves that to some extent,” claimed the man facing theft charges and abuse of office in the wake of the Rio scandal.
Soi was cleared by Senior Principal Magistrate, Martha Mutuku at Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi and is eligible to travel for the seminar where he has been invited as an experienced head of mission.
“The letter I received addressed me as the Chef-de-Mission, meaning I will travel in that capacity to attend the seminar,” said Soi who held the position at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
Soi had presented to the court a letter from the Commonwealth Games Working Group dated February 12, 2016, inviting him to attend the seminar.
Fellow outgoing NOCK officials, Ben Ekumbo (First Vice-president), Pius Ochieng (Second Vice-president) and Francis Kinyili Paul (Secretary General) are also facing charges related to the Rio fiasco that blighted Team Kenya’s record performance in Brazil.