Rio Olympics scandal profiteer denied bail, begins 17-year jail term

Soi wanted to be released over his medical condition

Former senior sports official Stephen Soi when he appeared at an anti-corruption court last year. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Stephen Soi, a former National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK) official, who was jailed over the 2016 Rio Olympics scandal has been denied bail.

Milimani Anti-Corruption Court's Lady Justice Esther Maina on February 3 dismissed the plea on account that there are no exceptional circumstances to justify his release from prison pending the determination of his appeal.

Soi is currently in prison serving a 17-year sentence following his conviction in September 2021 and after he opted not to pay a fine of Sh105 million.

“Although he has demonstrated underlying medical conditions, they are not enough reason to warrant his release since our prisons are well equipped with medical personnel who can treat him whenever his health is not good,” Justice Maina ruled.

Soi had sought to be released on bail, explaining that he is old and suffers from several chronic diseases which require constant attention from his doctor. However, Justice Maina directed that the hearing of his appeal be expedited due to Soi’s health condition.

Among the six people arraigned for the Sh55 million scam, he is the only one in prison after his co-convict, former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario paid a Sh3.6 million fine ordered by the courts.

Four other co-accused – Richard Ekai, the then principal secretary, Haron Komen, Francis Kinyili Paul and Patrick Nkabu Kimani – were acquitted by the trial magistrate Elizabeth Juma.

During the 2016 summer Olympic games in Rio, athletes did not receive their Nike kits while some of them were stranded in a Rio shantytown, where gunshots were heard, as officials looked for a 'cheap flight' home.

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