Slain Kenyan athlete Tirop’s accused husband freed on bailWed, 15 Nov 2023 12:47:55 GMT

The husband of slain Kenyan distance running star Agnes Tirop was freed on bail on Wednesday after two years in custody over her killing.Ibrahim Rotich was charged in November 2021 with the murder of Tirop, whose body was found with stab wounds at her home in the athletics training hub of Iten in western Kenya in October of that year.Rotich, who denies the charge, had been denied bail four times by a court in the neighbouring town of Eldoret because of concerns over his own safety as well as the possibility he could be a flight risk.But on Wednesday, Eldoret high court judge Robert Wananda ruled that there were no compelling reasons to continue detaining the 43-year-old, paving the way for his trial to start immediately.  “For the past two years the accused has been detained in prison remand in connection with the murder of his wife, this has been enough (time) to ascertain his character and the environment outside the prison if released,” said Wananda.”Things have cooled and there appears not to be any danger to his life.”He ordered Rotich to be released on a bond of 400,000 shillings ($2,600), with a surety of a similar amount, or cash bail of 500,000 shillings ($3,300).Under the bail conditions, Rotich is barred from leaving his home county of Uasin Gishu, of which Eldoret is the main town, or visiting Iten, and has been ordered not to interfere with witnesses.Tirop, who died at the age of 25, was a fast-rising athlete — a double world 10,000m bronze medallist and 2015 world cross country champion who also finished fourth in the 5,000m at the Tokyo Olympics.She also smashed the world women-only record in the 10km road race in Germany in the month before her killing.Tirop’s death threw a spotlight on the pressures faced by the country’s female athletes who pay a huge — and often tragic — price for their spectacular success in a male-dominated society.