NAIROBI, Kenya (AP)Kenya’s former sports minister was convicted Wednesday of corruption and abuse of office relating to the misuse of more than $800,000 that was meant for the country’s 2016 Olympic team.
Hassan Wario and former Kenyan Olympic committee official Stephen Soi, the 2016 team’s chef de mission, were both found guilty after some of the money set aside to pay for flights and accommodation at the Rio de Janeiro Games and fund the team’s preparations was misappropriated.
Magistrate Elizabeth Juma scheduled a sentencing hearing for Wario and Soi for Thursday. The two remained in custody.
Former Kenyan Olympic committee secretary general Francis Paul and three other sports ministry officials were acquitted.
There were allegations that corruption in the buildup and during the Rio Games was rife among Kenyan government and sports officials, who were accused of stealing money from the $5.7 million Olympic budget and some of the $700,000 given to the track and field federation by sponsor Nike.
David Okeyo, the former vice president of Athletics Kenya and a council member at the world track body, was banned from the sport for life in 2018 for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars of the Nike money.
Wario, who was sports minister from 2013-2018, is the most senior government official to be convicted of corruption in relation to the Olympic scandal. He was Kenya’s ambassador to Austria when he was arrested and charged.
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