Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario has saved himself from a six-year jail term after paying a Ksh3.6 million fine.
Wario was on Thursday, September 16 sentenced to jail or part with the fine after a Nairobi court found him guilty of the 2016 Rio Olympics financial scandal.
Wario who was found guilty of abusing his office by allowing three joyriders to travel to Rio without being part of the Kenyan team asked the court to grant him a lenient sentence.
Through lawyer Rogers Sagana, the former CS said he has learned from his mistake, adding that he is a remorseful offender having been dropped from the cabinet and his position as Kenya’s Ambassador to Austria.
“As you consider the sentence we urge the court to consider a non-custodial sentence which mandates fine not exceeding one million for each of the counts,” Sagana told the court.
Charged alongside Wario was the former National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) official Stephen Soi who will serve 12 years in jail or pay a fine of Ksh105.5 million after he was found guilty in five counts of corruption.
The two were on Wednesday found guilty of the offences of abuse of office and willful failure to comply with public procurement guidelines and laws.
The sentence was read out to them on Thursday noon by Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma before they were escorted to prison under armed security from the warders.
“I have also taken into account that by the time Wario instructed some individuals to be included in Team Kenya, there was no negative publicity. It only emerged later when they won in Rio. They managed to bring good performance but in the process, the government lost a good amount of money. This brought a bad image,” ruled Juma.
In seeking a stiffer penalty, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji through state prosecutor Joseph Riungu argued that “a case serves its purpose when the fruits of the judgment are realized. Every person should be accountable for their actions. Given the amounts involved, the sentence given should act as a deterrence [to corruption].