What you need to know:
- Rotich was charged with the murder of the athlete in November but denied the charges when he appeared before the Eldoret High Court.
- The case will be mentioned on June 22 for pre-trial directions.
Ibrahim Kipkemboi Rotich, who is the chief suspect in the murder of former World Cross Country champion Agnes Tirop, was on Wednesday denied bond by the High Court in Eldoret.
Rotich, who is being accused of killing Tirop at her home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County on October 13 last year, had asked the court to release him on bond as he battles to clear his name.
During his plea taking on November 16 last year where he denied the charge, state counsel Anthony Fedha objected to the bond application arguing that Rotich might influence, threaten or interfere with witnesses if released.
Prosecution had also told the court that the accused did not have a permanent residence.
The state counsel further revealed that among the 10 key witnesses expected to testify, some are Rotich’s relatives.
The prosecution had also told the court that the accused had threatened to take his life before his arrest.
While delivering the ruling, Justice Reuben Nyakundi noted that the conduct of the accused person since the incident was questionable hence the court found it hard to release him on bond.
“Bearing in mind that the matter before us is associated with gender-based violence and your conduct as the accused person has made this court to doubt if released on bond you will be available during the proceedings. Even personal circumstances and steps you took after the incident have made this court ask so many questions about your availability if released on bond,” ruled the Justiced Nyakundi.
Justice Nyakundi added that the court declined to release the accused on bond because of the "overwhelming evidence" presented by the prosecution while objecting his application.
“The manner in which you behaved from the beginning makes this court deny you a bond. However, you have a right to request the court to revisit the ruling at a later stage,” ruled Justice Nyakundi.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) reported that Rotich was arrested in Mombasa two days after the gruesome murder of the athlete while reportedly trying to flee the country.
Rotich was charged with the murder of the athlete in November but denied the charges when he appeared before the High Court in Eldoret.
The case will be mentioned on June 22 for pre-trial directions.