2 July 2012

Kenya: Kemboi - Njeri Family Claims Sexual Assault

3000m world steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi is going to London after all despite the assault charges against him. ( Resource: Kenyan Olympic Hopeful Kemboi Cleared for Games

The saga surrounding international athlete Ezekiel Kemboi's alleged assault on an Eldoret businesswoman took a new twist when the Olympic hopeful demanded that the case against him be withdrawn for fresh investigations. However, the the family of the victim Ann Njeri Otieno, wants more sexual offense charges preferred against the runner.

Kemboi's lawyer Phillip Murgor demanded that the Director Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko should withdraw the assault case for fresh probe because police in Eldoret charged the runner before carrying out proper investigations. "We want the file recalled so that the case is terminated for fresh investigations", said Murgor.

Kemboi alleges that police rushed the case to court withoutconsidering both sides of the saga.He insists that he was set up to fall victim in an alleged robbery incident against him. Kemboi was charged with the offense of assault causing bodily harm but Njeri's lawyer James Njuguna has written to the police complaining that the the athlete should have been charged with assault causing grievous bodily harm and another charge of sexual assault under the Sexual Offenses Act.

Njuguna has also written to Tobiko demanding that Kemboi's charge sheet be amended by the police. "Our client is apprehensive that unless the accused person is charged with the correct offenses then justice will not be seen to have been served in the circumstances", said Njuguna in the letter to the police and the DPP.

Sources indicate that the Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida) will be seeking to be enjoined in the case in defense of Njeri. Njuguna's letter has been copied to Fida. Officials from the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock) are also in Eldoret to carry out an independent probe ahead of a meeting later this week expected to decide the fate of Kemboi who is to represent Kenya at the London Olympics Games beginning in July.

Some officials within Nock believe that Kemboi was deliberately set up during the incident. However Njeri's father Bob Mweya said he would fight off any possible influence or interference in the case by other people. "We have witnesses who saw the whole thing happening and we want the correct charges preferred against the suspect so that the courts can decide," said Mweya.

Njeri was yesterday still recuperating at the Mediheal Hospital in Eldoret where police quizzed her on the incident. According to Mweya, she still has to undergo further scans and before she is discharged later in the week.

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