A plot to assassinate Kenyan athletics star Agnes Tirop is likely to have hatched while competing in the Tokyo Olympics, according to the family of the deceased athlete.
Tirop was found dead last month with stab wounds on her neck and stomach, just weeks after breaking the women’s 10km world record in Germany.
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Tirop’s husband Ibrahim Rotich has since been arrested suspected of his murder, appearing in court this week.
A Kenyan court on Monday allowed police to detain Rotich for 20 days for his murder.
Rotich was arraigned on suspicion of murder when he first appeared in court in the town of Iten in the Rift Valley, near the house they shared.
Police told the court they would use the time to complete investigations and run tests on the suspect to determine if he is mentally fit to stand trial.
Agnes Tirop’s family claim she was killed for property
New details have since emerged after Tirop’s murder, her family believing she was killed as a result of a land dispute.
The star runner’s family claimed that the majority of Tirop’s assets had changed ownership while competing in the Tokyo Games.
Jeremiah Sawe, spokesperson for Tirop’s family, said parts of the property had changed hands three months ago without her knowing, around the time she was in Tokyo.
“We were shocked to learn that the majority of our daughter’s belongings have mysteriously changed hands,” Sawe said.
“What is shocking is that the property changed hands three months ago and some were wiped out by her lover, who is also the prime suspect in the murder.
“We are now convinced that she was killed because of her wealth.
“There are a total of 12 plots, which have since changed owners.
“The suspect took ownership of the property and we believe the deceased was unaware or was under duress.
“In addition, there are no documents for several vehicles purchased by the athlete, and shockingly another car is registered under one of the suspect’s friends, also in custody.”
Detective Andolo Munga of the Kenya Police Criminal Investigation Department said the family’s statements were treated as “allegations until proven guilty”.
“Crime can be committed in series and in many ways,” Munga said.
“In this particular case, we are basing our investigation on a reverse and prospective investigation.
“We may arrest other suspects in the course of our investigation.”
Detectives arrested Rotich on Thursday in the coastal city of Mombasa, claiming he was trying to flee the country.
Neither Rotich nor his representatives have made public comments on the case.
On October 3, Tirop finished second in the Giants Geneva 10K race.
She won bronze medals at the 2017 and 2019 world championships in the 10,000 meter race and won the 2015 cross country world championships.
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