Athletics: Husband of slain Kenyan Olympian Tirop charged with murder, pleads not guilty

Agnes Tirop, 25, was found stabbed to death in her home on Oct 13, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

ELDORET, KENYA (REUTERS) - Ibrahim Rotich, husband of the slain Kenyan Olympic runner Agnes Tirop, pleaded not guilty after he was charged with her murder in a Kenyan court on Tuesday (Nov 16).

The 41-year-old had been ordered last week to undergo a mental health test before entering a plea. Tirop, 25, was found stabbed to death in her home in the Rift Valley town of Iten on Oct 13, in a case that has shone a spotlight on violence against women in the east African country.

Rotich appeared in court in handcuffs, wearing a black jacket and a cap. He looked down at the floor for most of the proceedings.

His lawyer, Joseline Mitei, declined to discuss the details or results of his mental health evaluation.

"I intend to put formal application in court for my client to be released on bail," Mitei said.

The bail hearing is set for Dec 1.

Police arrested Rotich in the coastal city of Mombasa the day after Tirop's body was discovered. They said he had been trying to flee the country.

In September, Tirop broke the women-only 10km world record in Germany. She won bronze medals at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships in the 10,000 metres.

She was fourth in the 5,000m at the Tokyo Olympics in August.

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