The family of the late Olympic runner Agnes Tirop has rejected a plea bargain with the family of the prime suspect, Ibrahim Rotich.
During the hearing of the matter at the High Court in Eldoret on Thursday, Simiyu Khatete, the lawyer for the accused, informed the court that his client was hoping to reach an out-of-court agreement with the family of his deceased wife.
“We had hoped that there would be a white smoke as regards to plea bargain with the family of the victim but to our utter shock the other party has turned down the offer,” Khatete told Justice Reuben Nyakundi.
“Our position is still that we are after plea bargain and not murder trial,” he added.
In the plea bargain, the suspect wants charges reduced to manslaughter with a maximum of ten years sentence.
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Lawyer Richard Waringi, representing the family of the victim, told the packed court that they had not been served with documents regarding the plea bargain.
“The family of the victim is not willing to pursue the plea bargain and if that will happen, we will still retain the charges of murder against the accused person owing to the circumstances under which the victim met her death,” Waringi argued.
Justice Nyakundi gave the two parties one last chance to try and find a common ground before he gives further direction regarding the case.
“I am giving the two parties a last chance on this issue of the plea bargain to give direction on the matter,” the judge ordered.
Justice Nyakundi further directed the two parties to appear before him on April 18, 2023, when they are expected to have concretised their engagements on the plea bargain.