Kenya: Wario Faces Up to 10 Years in Jail for Rio Olympics Scandal

16 September 2021

Nairobi — Disgraced Kenyan diplomat Hassan Wario risks up to ten years in jail or a fine not exceeding Sh1 million following his conviction in the 2016 Rio Olympics saga.

Wario who was dropped as Kenya's Ambassador to Austria in May 2019, eight months after he faced abuse of office charges under the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crime Act, could also be compelled to pay an additional mandatory fine equal to two times the sum he might have accrued from the saga or the amount lost by the taxpayer according to Section 48 of the Act.

The former Sports Cabinet Secretary who also faced three other counts which included engaging in a project without prior planning was found guilty of the offences on Wednesday in a decision rendered by Anti-Corruption Magistrate Elizabeth Juma at the Milimani Law Courts in Niarobi.

The magistrate found that the former Sports CS took advantage of his office and had three other persons included in the Kenyan team that was travelling to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Olympics and had allowances paid to them.

The magistrate further noted that Wario did not have the mandate to allow the thre, identified in court as Monica Sairo, Richard Abura and Edan Adow travel to Rio.

"The additional names were included after they closed the accreditation. Clearly this was an indicator that the three were not part of the Team Kenya," the court ruled.

At least Sh88.6 million was reported to have been embezzled following an investigation in November 2016.

Also convicted was Team Kenya leader in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Stephen Soi.

Wario and Soi were remanded at the Gigiri Police Station pending sentencing on Thursday.

All the other accused persons, including former Sports Principal Secretary Richard Ekai and ex-Director of Administration at the sports ministry Haron Komen, were acquitted of the charges leveled against them with the court citing insufficient evidence.

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