By Duncan Mackay

Beatrice_Allen_at_microphoneJune 13 - Beatrice Allen, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has been cleared of embezzling $1,500 (£950) from the Gambian National Olympic Committee (GNOC).

Allen, who had been the acting President of the GNOC, was cleared along with treasurer Ousman Wadda and accountant Muhammed Janneh by a court in Banjul today.

The judge said the prosecution had failed to prove its case.

The defendants denied the charges, claiming they were targeted because they intended to report financial mismanagement within the Olympic body.

They were cleared of taking money meant as allowances for Lang Tombong Tamba, the former President of the GOC, who was also Chief of Defence Staff for Gambia's armed forces, who has been sentenced to death in his alleged role in a coup to oust the country's Government in 2006.

The 60-year-old Allen, a member of the IOC Coordination Commission for Rio 2016, said in an affidavit that the trio were "completely innocent" of the charges and were being targeted because of their intention to report what she called the mismanagement of $100,000 (£62,000) by the GNOC.

The money was given to the GNOC by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and was meant to be used to prepare Gambian athletes for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi last October, according to Allen.

"The accounts showed that these funds were mismanaged and a report was due to be sent to the CGF in respect of the mismanagement of this sum," Allen stated in the affidavit that was filed on January 24, three days after her arrest, and sent to the High Court of Gambia.

"I believe that the decision to prosecute us might be linked to these issues.

"I believe that we are being victimised."

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