Legendary athlete Kipchoge Keino is set to escape criminal action over the corruption charges relating to Kenya's preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, it has been revealed.
The double Olympic gold medallist, whose case was today deferred by seven days, is instead expected to be be a state witness against Kenya's former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario and others who have been charged in the scandal.
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji had approved charges against the 78-year-old, who was due to appear in court this morning over the loss of KES55 million (£416,000/$545,000/€474,000).
The former chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) was also expected to be charged with abuse of office and willful failure to comply with laws relating to public funds management.
But, after giving himself up yesterday at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters and being questioned for more than six hours, it was discovered the honorary International Olympic Committee (IOC) member was never a signatory to any account and neither did he receive any money.
"We are reviewing some issues over emerging details that will see Kipchoge Keino become a witness," John Kariuki, head of investigations at DCI, told The Star in Nairobi.
"He never signed documents."
Pressure had been mounting from mainly Rift Valley politicians and other influential figures to force Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and stop Keino from facing charges.
It is also believed that the IOC had made representations on Keino's behalf.
IOC President Thomas Bach had claimed at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires yesterday that Keino was "free" but was unable to provide any more details.
Wario, who is Kenya's Ambassador to Austria, appeared before an Anti-Corruption Court at Milimani this morning and was charged with six counts of abuse of office.
He pleaded not guilty to all of them.
Others facing charges are Kenya's Director of Administration Harun Komen and Patrick Kimathi, the former finance officer at the country's Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts.
Kimathi denied failing to comply with applicable law relating to management of public funds by carelessly misusing public funds amounting to KES22.5 million (£170,000/$223,000/€193,000).
Komen faces three counts of abuse of office - among them getting an air ticket to travel to Brazil without planning - and he too pleaded not guilty.
NOCK secretary general Francis Paul Kanyili, Rio 2016 Chef de Mission Stephen Kiptanui arap Soi and former Sports Principal Secretary Richard Ekai had appeared in court in Nairobi on Monday (October 14).
All six men have been released on bail of KES1 million (£7,500/$10,000/€8,750).
Detectives have long been seeking to establish whether there is evidence that the officials either misused or stole money allocated to the Kenyan team that travelled to Brazil two years ago.
It follows the country's Olympic Games Probe Committee revealing that the Sports Ministry had signed a ticketing deal with a Kenyan-based travel agency to offer tickets at a higher price than usual.
Among the other allegations are purchasing of air tickets which were not utilised amounting to KES16.9 million (£128,000/$168,000/€145,000), overpaying allowances amounting to KES15.9 million (£120,000/$158,000/€137,000) and incurring expenditure on unauthorised persons amounting to KES6.6 million (£50,000/$65,000/€57,000).