Agnes Tirop was found dead at her home in Kenya (Martin Rickett/PA)
The husband of Kenyan distance runner Agnes Tirop has pleaded not guilty to her murder.
Ibrahim Rotich, 41, entered his plea in court on Tuesday morning. “It’s not true your honour,” he is reported to have told Justice Reuben Nyakundi when presented with the charge.
The 25-year-old Tirop was found dead last month at her home in Iten in the west of Kenya, where many long-distance runners base themselves for training. A postmortem revealed she died from stab wounds to the neck and the impact of a blunt object to the head.
Mr Rotich went “on the run”, according to local police, before he was arrested in Mombassa on suspicion of her murder.
The police statement at the time of arrest read: “Suspected killer husband of Agnes Tirop, the long distance runner heroine recently murdered at her home, has been arrested.
“The suspect, one Ibrahim Kipkemoi Rotich, who has been on the run with police on hot trail, was nabbed in Mombasa by diligent police detectives who were trailing him and is currently held at Changamwe Police Station awaiting transfer to Iten where he’s expected to face prosecution.
“He was arrested together with Silas Chilla Chellile and are both helping the police with investigations. John Kipkoech Samoe was earlier arrested for complicity in the murder and already arraigned in court for custodial sentence. Swift and agile coordinated action by police ensured justice for all.”
Tirop won bronze medals in the women’s 10,000m at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships and finished fourth in the 5,000m at this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
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