What you need to know:
- Their co-accused, former Principal Secretary Richard Ekai, Haron Komen, Francis Paul and Patrick Kimathi Nkabu were acquitted by trial magistrate Elizabeth Juma.
Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario is staring at a 10-year jail term after an anti-corruption court found him guilty of abusing his office in connection to the Sh55 million Rio 2016 Olympics scandal.
Wario, together with ex-National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) official Stephen Soi, are also facing a mandatory fine equal to two times the amount of the benefit or loss suffered by the public as a result of their conduct.
The two were Wednesday found guilty of three and six offences, respectively, in relation to siphoning of millions of shillings meant for athletes who competed in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
They will be convicted and sentenced on Thursday, though they have since said they will move to the High Court to challenge the judgment.
In the lengthy judgment delivered by Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma, the former CS was found guilty of abusing his office by improperly conferring benefits to three people into the delegation that travelled to Brazil in July 2016.
The beneficiaries are named as Adan Omar Enow, Richard Abura and Monica Sairo. The three travelled using visas issued by the Brazilian embassy and were not part of the delegation, though they ended up as part of Team Kenya.
“Mr Wario took advantage of the office and had people included in Team Kenya,” said the magistrate, while stressing that as the Cabinet Secretary, Mr Wario ordered for the additional names without consultations.
“Anyone who played a role in the planning (Rio Olympics) was included in the travel. This is not the spirit of the Olympic Charter….there was wastage of money. The budget should be tailored on the needs,” said the magistrate.
The court looked at the Olympic charter, bed capacity (at the Olympics) and the rationing of bed in making the findings.
“It is true Kenya performed in the games, however it could be done in lesser expense to save the public funds,” said the magistrate.
On his part, Mr Soi was found guilty of six counts on willful failure to comply with applicable procedures and guidelines relating to management of public funds and abuse of office.
Evidence tabled in court by the 22 prosecution witnesses showed that Mr Soi, being the Chef De Mission of Team Kenya in the Olympic games, unlawfully approved payment in excess of US Dollars 151,500 as allowances to the members of the team.
He also authorised cancellation of air tickets resulting to a loss of Sh9.7 million public funds.
In addition, he unlawfully authourised purchase of unutilised air tickets amounting to Sh19.5 million and allowed payment of Sh4.9 million for the air tickets, which resulted to the loss of public funds.
On abuse of office, Mr Soi was found guilty of conferring a benefit of Sh1.9 million to Hezekiah Kipchoge Keino and Francis Kinyili Paul.
Both Mr Keino and Mr Kinyili received the money as allowances to travel to Brazil, an act that resulted to loss of public funds.
Evidence further demonstrated that Mr Soi, a retired police officer, abused his office by conferring a benefit of Sh5.3 million to Mr Vincent Kinyili Paul, Francis Kinyili Paul, Hezekiah Kipchoge Keino and Ian Kipkosgei to travel to Brazil.
In the judgment, the court acquitted former Principal secretary Richard Ekai, Haron Komen (former director of administration at the Ministry), Francis Paul (former secretary general NOCK) and Patrick Kimathi Nkabu (former finance officer).